When asked to express what Sacred Heart means to her, Winifred “Wendy” Delery Hills ’71 says that Sacred Heart was a home away from home for her, a place where she was valued as a student and where all girls and women mattered and learned to be good citizens and independent thinkers. In recognition of her many professional and volunteer contributions to Sacred Heart, the Alumnae Association is pleased to recognize Wendy with the Alumna of the Year Award.
Wendy attended The Rosary for fourteen years, graduating in 1971. She later received a B. A. from Newcomb College in 1975 and a J. D. from Tulane Law School in 1978 and practiced law in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina forced her family to move to Fayetteville, Arkansas for 6 years. She and her husband John Fleury Hills (son of the late Dorothy Fleury Hills ’30) reside in Mandeville. Their son Robert Fleury Hills lives in Nashville where he is pursuing an MBA at Vanderbilt. Robert graduated from Stuart Hall School for Boys.
A member of the Rosary Alumnae Board since 1982, Wendy served in several capacities including as President from 1988-90. She chaired the Associated Alumnae of the Sacred Heart (A.A.S.H.) conference in New Orleans in 1987 after which she served for two years as Treasurer of A.A.S.H. She and her mother attended the canonization of St. Philippine Duchesne and were photographed with Pope John Paul II. More recently, Wendy served two terms on the board of the Association Mondiale des Anciennes et Anciens du Sacré-Cœur (AMASC), including as Treasurer from 2010-14. She is a member of the Children of Mary. During the Rosary Centennial she was one of 25 alumnae who were honored.
Wendy is the eldest daughter of Winifred Kelly Delery (’45) and the late Judge Oliver Stanislaus Delery. Her two sisters Anne Delery Comarda ’75 and Joyce Delery ’79 are alumnae as well as her four nieces.
In addition to her participation at the Rosary, Wendy served as President of the Newcomb College Alumnae Association, Treasurer of the Stuart Hall Mothers’ Club, a member of the PTSO board at Fayetteville High School, President of Louisiana Guardianship Services, Inc., and is an Extraordinary Minister of Communion at Mary Queen of Peace Church in Mandeville. Her hobbies include needlepoint, reading, and genealogy.
What does Sacred Heart mean to you?
Sacred Heart was a home, a place where I was valued as a student and where all girls and women mattered. It was also a place where we learned to adapt to changes in our world, but where the spirit of St. Madeleine Sophie and St. Philippine Duchesne and those who continue to do their work remain constant.
Please share one of your favorite Rosary memories.
I loved our Congés. Our class performed Snow White, The Trouble with Angels, and Hello, Dolly! We had a great time working together and entertaining the school and participating in all the games and activities of the day.
What is your favorite Rosary tradition?
I think that bringing Christmas baskets is a wonderful tradition that has existed for over 75 years. It reminds us of how fortunate we are and that we should share with others.
Which goal speaks most to you and why?
Goals were not described as such until after we graduated, but they existed in other ways and we were formed by them. It is hard to pick one goal, but I think that Goal 3 – Social Awareness which impels to action – most speaks to me. I learned this value both at home and at school. I have lived it in my political activity, my career as an attorney representing children and the elderly and those who aren’t able to do for themselves, my work with Louisiana Guardianship Services, and always voting.
How has Sacred Heart influenced your life?
Sacred Heart instilled values that I try to live up to. Through my activities as an alumna, I have met many women and men around the world who are alumnae of our school and others in the Sacred Heart family who also share the values we have all learned. Alumnae of Sacred Heart schools are all one big family.