Helen Lebaron Hilton

Honored by:ISU Retirees Committee
Brick location:B:26  map

The name Helen LeBaron Hilton is legendary at Iowa State University --- and as far away as Baroda University in India. Born in Morrisville, Vermont in 1910 Helen established an international reputation for herself and led Iowa State's College of Home Economics (now Family and Consumer Sciences) to the same distinction in the field of home economics education. During her 23-year tenure as dean of the college from 1952 to 1975 she directed a 10-year project in home economics education that helped Baroda University develop a graduate and research program. She was the first president of the Association of Home Economics Administrators and was nationally recognized for her work with -advocacy programs for children families and women.

Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy appointed her to national committees; she was a member of the National Committee for the 1960 White House Conference on Children and Youth and the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. A soft-spoken woman with firm convictions her opinions were respected and she served as an inspiring role model for other women. Her leadership skills were practiced at local and state levels as well as nationally. She served on the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women and tile Iowa Children’s and Family Services Board and was the first woman to be elected to the Ames City Council. In 1970 at the age of 60 she married James H. Hilton retired president of Iowa State University. In 1983 Helen LeBaron Hilton was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame and in 1993 five months before her death her political and social impact was recognized when she was named the first recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt award sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Ames. Helen was a loyal supporter of Iowa State University in many ways. She was a Governor of the ISU Foundation and through her estate a faculty chair has been established in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Her retirement led to activity and leadership in a variety of organizations and causes.

She founded the ISU Retirement Advising Program and served many years as its volunteer director. With enthusiasm she supported the inauguration of the College for Seniors in 1993 and served as chair of the Policies and Procedures Committee to launch the new endeavor. It is with love and admiration that ISU retirees honor her with this brick.