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Retiring Professor's Speech Unveils Life Lessons for Graduates

July 19, 2023

Photo of Jeff Hill in his cap and gown speaking at commencement

2023 graduates from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences learned three important ways to claim joy in their life:

  1. Life is hard, but you can do hard things.

  2. When life doesn’t go as planned, don’t get frustrated, make the best of it.

  3. TTT or "Things Take Time."

Jeff Hill, professor of family life who is retiring this year, offered students this formula for joy in his speech at the college convocation. Hill has been teaching students at BYU for 25 years and didn't miss this opportunity to share his wisdom on how these rules have him over the course of his life: from school at BYU, raising a family, the death of his first wife, and eventually teaching with his wife, Tammy Hill, at BYU who is also retiring this year.

A photo of Jeff Hill with his wife Tammy Hill

"Jeff and Tammy Hill have been an integral part of the School of Family Life — they are irreplaceable and we will miss them," says Erin Holmes, director of the the School of Family Life. "Together, they have touched over 60,000 students lives during their time at BYU." Holmes expressed how much she will miss Jeff’s sincerity, workplace strategies, and desire to lift others through every interaction, as well as Tammy’s passion for life, her warm greetings, and her huge heart. "They truly made the School of Family Life and BYU better."

Alan Hawkins, professor of family life, recalls the impact Hill had on the school's family finances course.

“Hill was an international expert and leading scholar in the area of work-family balance when we needed someone to teach family finance," says Hawkins. "Jeff threw himself into learning this field and teaching the class with enthusiasm and competence."

This assignment even led Hill to shift his scholarly energy to research on family finances. He brought together interested scholars from across the country, connected them to important datasets, and mentored bright students in their research on this topic.

"He single-handedly revived a field of study that had been latent for 25 years," notes Hawkins.

See the full convocation service at our graduation website.