The James Hillier Foundation

Foundation History

June 29, 2009-Orsay-Laboratory of Solid Physics (UMR 8502) -Croscopic electron microscopy applied to the study of conformations of DNA.

‘Success favours a prepared mind’

Dr. James Hillier, who became one of Canada’s most famous scientists, was born and raised in Brantford Ontario. He often said he would have never gone to university without scholarship assistance. Along with his many internationally-renowned inventions, Dr. Hillier was also known for his comment ‘Success favours a prepared mind.’

In 1992, Dr. Hillier donated $500,000 US to assist Brantford-area secondary school students to attend university to study sciences. This amount was matched by Ms. May Hillier, Mr. Frank Matthews & Family, Mr. Donald Wilkin, Ms. Margaret Stedman, Ms. Mary Stedman, Ms. Ruth Stedman, Ms. Dorothy Woltz, S. C. Johnson and Son Ltd., the Board of Education of Brant County and the Brant Roman Catholic School Board—and the Dr. James Hillier Foundation was established.

Every year, three deserving students are selected to be the recipients of up to $20,000 each towards their undergraduate degree. To date, 82 students have received over $1,342,000 in financial support.

The Dr. James Hillier Foundation is a volunteer organization managed by local board members responsible for carrying out the necessary work of the Foundation and its scholarship fund.

To celebrate Dr. Hillier’s 100th birthday in 2015,the Board presented ‘An Evening with Chris Hadfield’—another famous Canadian scientist/astronaut.

In 2018, to mark the Foundations granting milestone of over
$1,000,000, the Foundation was delighted to present “An Evening with Jane
Goodall” at the City of Brantford’s Sanderson Centre.

The Dr. James Hillier Foundation has preserved many of Dr. Hillier’s artifacts—including important papers, his original plans for the electron microscope, patents, even one of his oil paintings—in a secure, climate-controlled space at Apotex Pharmachem Inc. in Brantford. A highlight—‘Through the Looking Glass’—is a 9-hour film compilation of interviews with Dr. Hillier. The public is welcome to tour the exhibit. To make arrangements contact the Foundation through the Contact form on this website.

The Dr. James Hillier Foundation has been set up to last for perpetuity so that—like Dr. Hillier—local students will always have the advantage of scholarship funds towards studying sciences at university.