A new scholarship set to honor the memory of James “Jay” Harold Hills will provide financial assistance to students enrolled in the Commercial Truck Driving Training program at the College of Southern Maryland. The annual fund was established by Hills’ wife, Annie.
Hills passed away in 2019 after working in the excavating industry for more than 30 years as part of his dad’s family business, Larry Hills and Sons. Together with his brother – the Hills have operated a prominent, successful business that has served the tri-county area for more than 50 years.
“Jay took over running the business when his father retired,” explained Annie Hills. “His love for playing in the dirt and driving huge equipment mesmerized those of us who knew nothing about it. I would always say he used excavators like I use a blender in the kitchen. He was truly amazing.”
According to his wife, Hills was well-known in Southern Maryland for his calm demeanor, attention to detail, hard work and honesty, “which made him be the best he could be and always humble and always open to learning new ideas or suggestions from customers.” He was also a volunteer at the Second District Volunteer Fire Department for 25 years as a driver and fireman.
“He loved his community,” Annie Hills shared. “Jay always gave of himself. Everyone loved Jay Hills, I know I did, more than life. He always did the right thing, stayed humble and everything was done the best way possible and no cutting corners. If you can take away anything from his story, just know Jay was a hero to many – a love of his wife, family and friends and truly dedicated to his trade and making his father proud.”
CSM is among the few schools in the country that have been able to earn certification by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) for its Class A Commercial Driver’s License training. PTDI is a national, nonprofit organization sponsored by the nation’s trucking industry to advance truck driving proficiency, safety and professional standards among drivers which, in turn, will foster benefits for all stakeholders, including motor carriers, insurers, training schools, government bodies at all levels, funding organizations and the American public. The industry’s annual demand for new drivers hovers around the 80,000 mark.
Learn more about CSM’s Commercial Truck driving program.
The James ‘Jay’ Harold Hills Memorial Scholarship will provide financial assistance for tuition, fees, books and other related supplies for students registered in the Commercial Truck Driver Training program at CSM. To be eligible, the student(s) must be a resident of Southern Maryland; possess a high school diploma or its equivalent; demonstrate financial need; and be enrolled in the Commercial Truck Driver Training program at CSM. The applicants are also required to submit an essay explaining their financial need and how this scholarship will help them achieve their career goals. In addition, the scholarship recipient must write a thank you note explaining the importance of this scholarship toward their career goals.