Sylvia Hill Fields, a 1978 alumna of Seton Hill University, was recently recognized by Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett as a 2014 Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.
Fields, of Pittsburgh, was recognized for her philanthropic leadership as the executive director of the Eden Hall Foundation, which provides funding for health, education and social welfare programs. She remains the first and only African American woman to direct a major private foundation in the Pittsburgh area.
“Sylvia Fields is deserving of this tremendous recognition as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania,” said Mary C. Finger, Ed.D., Seton Hill President. “She has served the Pittsburgh region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and this University with great distinction
Michele Ridge, Seton Hill University Board Chair and herself a Distinguished Daughter, said, "Sylvia's accomplishments signal great honor and respect to Pennsylvania and are a source of pride for her alma mater. She is a wonderful role model for Seton Hill students."
Fields and her eight fellow Distinguished Daughters were honored with medals for their achievements at an event in Harrisburg in October.
“Each one of these women has shown a tremendous commitment to making the world around her a better place,” said Gov. Corbett. “It is my honor to name them as the Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania. Their dedication, commitment, compassion and drive have impacted the lives of so many.”
“As lifelong Pennsylvanians, Tom and I are proud to recognize this group of nine talented and motivated women,” said First Lady Susan Corbett. “Their communities, and the commonwealth as a whole, have been enriched by their exemplary achievements.”
A former member of Seton Hill’s Board of Trustees, a Distinguished Alumna of the University, and most recently a member of the Presidential Search Committee, Fields’ work has benefited programs on the local, state and national levels. She was invited to the White House to share information on exemplary initiatives and grants made by the Eden Hall Foundation. In 2012, the National Recreation and Parks Association recognized her along with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy for their important work in supporting public-private partnerships for parks. She currently serves on the national boards of the YWCA and the World Affairs Council. Fields has twice been named one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Most Influential African American Women by the New Pittsburgh Courier.
Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania began in 1948 as a way to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service. The women are nominated to receive the honor by non-profit organizations within Pennsylvania. They do not need to be a native of Pennsylvania, but must have lived in the commonwealth.