Anita Hilson - Retiree Tributes - McDonogh School

Anita Hilson

Anita Hilson and McDonogh School Admissions have been synonymous for nearly 20 years. Anita came to McDonogh in the Summer of 2001 as Associate Director of Admissions for Upper School. Having been a practicing attorney and legal writing instructor, she was eager for the opportunity to do meaningful work supporting families and education. In her first two years at McDonogh, Anita was also a member of the Upper School English Department where she taught writing. 

In 2003, she was promoted to Director of Admissions, and for nine years she led the Office to new heights. Anita was instrumental in increasing our diversity outreach efforts as well as strengthening our relationships with local feeder schools. She guided the school through the 2008 economic crisis with grace and poise, delivering a fully enrolled school at the start of each school year. In 2012, she accepted the challenge to serve as the inaugural Director of McDonogh Connect, the career mentoring program for current students and young alumni. After three years, she returned to Admissions as the full-time Senior Associate Director, working with families across all three divisions.  

While her admissions accomplishments are many, Anita’s focus has always been “more than the numbers.” She cares deeply for the families and students with whom she works and stays in touch with them long after their admission files left her desk. It was Anita’s goal to make every family feel special when they visited McDonogh, and her tours of campus are legendary. Her love for McDonogh was apparent with every (fast) step across the quad. Additionally, Anita has been a loyal friend. Her thoughtful gestures of kindness have included a flower on a colleague's desk, home cooked meals and desserts, a packet of Vitamin C for a colleague fighting off a cold, and greeting cards to mark every special occasion.

While Anita is retiring from McDonogh, she has accepted an exciting role as the Executive Director of Open Door, an organization that runs dozens of before and after school programs in public schools throughout the Baltimore region. Anita, we thank you for all that you have done to make McDonogh a better place. We wish you well and will miss you.