Young Life Alumni Awards

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Alec and Mary Hill
The Young Life Office of Alumni and Friends presents two awards annually to deserving alumni. The Young Life Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Alec and Mary Hill, while the recipients of The Alumni Service to Young Life Award are David and Janet Phillips.

Each of these four individuals has exemplified the ideals of dedication to the mission.

Jonathan Schultz, Alumni and Friends director, shares more about each of our worthy recipients.

 Young Life Distinguished Alumni Award 
— Alec and Mary Hill

 As a teenager, Mary Hill attended Ingraham High School in Seattle. It was through the Young Life ministry there that she began a relationship with Jesus. A few years later, in another Seattle high school, her future husband, Alec, would serve as a volunteer Young Life leader. About his three years as a volunteer leader at Chief Sealth High School, Alec would later write, “Those years changed the trajectory of my life.” That trajectory would eventually lead Alec to the position he serves in today: President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA®. 

Alec became president of InterVarsity in 2001. InterVarsity is a nondenominational ministry serving nearly 40,000 core students and faculty via 900 chapters on college campuses nationwide. He also serves on the board of Christianity Today International. Prior to joining InterVarsity, Alec served as dean of the School of Business and Economics and professor of Law and Ethics at Seattle Pacific University (SPU). In the early 1980s, he was a regional director with World Relief, resettling refugees from around the world. He has a J.D. from the University of Washington as well as a B.A. (history) and M.A. (theology) from SPU. 

Mary is certainly accomplished in her own right, as a signature member of the prestigious National Watercolor Society, with a B.A. (business) from Western Washington University and an MBA from SPU.

Today, Alec and Mary live in Madison, Wisc. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Laura and Carolyn. Nearly four decades since he was a leader at Chief Sealth, Alec is still in contact with his Campaigner guys — enjoying a reunion just a few months ago. The Hills remain huge fans of the Young Life mission. We are grateful for Alec and Mary and their constant support of Young Life.

Alumni Service to Young Life Award    — David and Janet Phillips

“What will Young Life be like in Virginia Beach in 1980? What about 1990? What are you going to do to make sure that teenagers in this town have the same opportunity to hear about Jesus that you did?” According to Virginia Beach Young Life Area Director Mike Terranova, these are the words Greg Kinberg (former Young Life COO and Virginia Beach founding area director) spoke to David Phillips. The year was 1973 and David was, according to Terranova, “a high school surfer kid from First Colonial High School.” More than four decades have passed since that challenge was issued, and David took them to heart. 

After coming to Christ in high school and later interning with Young Life in North Carolina, David found his calling was to business and the “supply side” of Young Life. In fact, for more than 40 years, David has continuously served Young Life in various roles including committee member, committee chair, golf tournament chair and “Taking Donors Seriously” committee member. David has also been a consistent golf sponsor, a faithful financial supporter and an incredible Young Life advocate to the Virginia Beach community. 

David and Janet met while in Campaigners in high school. Like David, Janet has also given sacrificially to Young Life, first as a volunteer leader and then as a committee member the entire time David has been involved. Today,

David and Janet have been married for 34 years and have three adult children, and two grandchildren. Not limited to committee roles, David recently offered his help at a local all-night Young Life event at a bowling alley; he covered the 1 a.m. shift as an adult supervisor! In the words of Mike Terranova, David “is simply joyful to see the work go forward and kids meet Christ. He has been such an encouragement to the staff and committee.” 

We all agree David and Janet have done quite well in living up to the challenge that Greg Kinberg gave David 42 years ago. Our thanks for being such faithful servants and partners in the mission. ​

To visit the Alumni and Friends website, join, update your information and reconnect with your Young Life friends, go to​.