In retirement, Syvia Tillman of Homewood became active in the League of Women Voters and devoted nearly 20 years of her life to supporting and protecting the right to vote.
Now the Homewood-Flossmoor Area League of Women Voters has created a scholarship in her memory and selected three students to receive the $1,000 Syvia Tillman Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was open to students who will major in political science in college, just as Tillman had.
Honorees are Emma Murphy, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate who will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Alexander Pratt, an H-F graduate who will attend North Central College; and Joslyn Smith, a graduate of Rich Township High School-STEM campus who will attend North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.
These students had GPAs of 3.0 or higher and were required to write an essay as part of the selection process. They were honored during a Zoom ceremony in May.
Barbara Koger Hayes, president LWV H-F Area, and co-founder of the scholarship, said: “The Syvia Tillman Memorial Scholarship is the League’s contribution to an exceptional person’s amazing legacy. She leaves behind a legacy of her commitment to political advocacy, education and labor. With her passing on Election Day 2020, our community lost a tireless worker who was determined that everyone be treated with dignity and respect.”
Tillman, a Nebraska native, graduated from the University of Nebraska. She moved to Illinois and during her career she was an administrative assistant to Rep. Anthony Scariano, D-Ill., and later deputy director of the Illinois Department of Labor helping to negotiate labor contracts.
Once she joined the League of Women Voters, she took on various roles within the organization, including president of the Homewood-Flossmoor Area chapter. She also served on the Illinois LWV Board of Directors working as vice president of membership and later vice president of issues.
Aside from her LWV work, Tillman also was involved with the Diversity Dinners Committee of the South Suburbs.
Donations to the Tillman Memorial Scholarship can be sent to LWV H-F Area, PO Box 801, Flossmoor, IL 60422.