February 21, 2005
Dexter graduate selected as February Student of Month at Cowley
Whether it’s on stage or at center court, Bronze Hill is in his element.
Not that the sophomore theatre major from Arkansas City craves attention. It’s just that he’s quite at home on the Robert Brown Theatre stage or W.S. Scott Auditorium/Dan Kahler Court.
Hill is Cowley College’s February Student of the Month. To say he is one of the most visible students on campus would be an understatement.
Hill has been in both of Cowley’s major theatrical presentations this academic year, is a member of the Spirit Squad that performs at all home basketball games, and recently was voted Homecoming King. Hill’s SOM award follows in his mother’s footsteps as she was nominated for the Student of the Year Award in the mid-1990s.
“I was excited just to be up for the award,” said Hill, 19, who graduated from Dexter High School in 2003. “I found out later that my mom got it when she went to Cowley.”
Hill is the son of Bronze and Becky Hill of Arkansas City. Sisters Morgan, 17, and Allyn, 14, attend Dexter High School. Grandparents are Charles and Karen Hill and Buel and Susan Duncan, all of Arkansas City. Great-grandmother Merlene Fultz lives in Blackwell, Okla.
Hill attended Barton County Community College his freshman year on a cheerleading scholarship. There, he traveled with the cheer squad to Florida to a national competition, took the opportunity to “get away from home,” and generally enjoyed the school.
“I liked Barton a lot,” he said, “but it was time to get back home for a while. I just wasn’t ready to go back (to Barton). I thought that if I got a scholarship here, I’d come here.”
The Friday before the first day of classes, Hill received a theatre scholarship to Cowley. It didn’t take him long to assert himself as a solid stage performer. He played the lead role of Finch in last fall’s musical “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” This spring, Hill is playing the lead role of Charlie Baker in the comedy “The Foreigner.”
Besides his work in the Robert Brown Theatre and as a member of the Spirit Squad, Hill is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Act One Drama Club, the CC Singers, the Cowley Gospel Choir, and IMPACT. He also has an on-campus job in the Financial Aid office.
Outside Cowley, Hill recently was promoted to booth/property manager at the Cowley Cinema 8 theater at Strother Field.
Hill said the Student of the Month Award exemplifies many qualities.
“From all of the students so far, it’s outstanding personal skills, they’re outgoing, and they’re excellent students,” he said. “All of them are great people, and I know them in various ways. We’re all related in some way or another. They have to be outstanding in some aspect of their lives, otherwise they wouldn’t have been chosen.”
At Dexter, Hill also was involved, participating in forensics, as a member of the track team, National Honor Society, student government, Drug-Free Dexter, and cheerleading. He became interested in theatre as a youngster.
“Growing up, I enjoyed watching movies,” he said. “I got to playing like I was other people. I love being able to not be me on stage. Being able to be that other character for two hours a night is a lot of fun, doing an accent or a limp, something I don’t have.”
Hill’s character in “The Foreigner,” Charlie Baker, has a straight London accent.
Like many theatre majors, Hill first was exposed to the stage during elementary school Christmas programs.
Hill said he’s changed since high school.
“In some aspects, I’ve gotten more outgoing,” Hill said. “I was a lot quieter in high school. I’m still quiet now if I don’t know people. And time management skills, I’ve somewhat mastered. Having to work full time, cheer and all of the other activities I’m involved on campus. Some things I have to cut out to get those done.”
Hill said his parents have had a positive influence on him and have offered sound advice.
“Even though I’m an adult now, I still ask their opinions on things,” Hill said. “I ask them if I should have taken the job at the theater, and when I was deciding what to do about Cowley or Barton, I asked them. They help me out a lot by letting me decide.”
When Hill isn’t practicing his lines for a production or leading cheers, he can be found reading fantasy stories, including the Harry Potter series, surfing on the computer or tumbling.
After Cowley, Hill plans to take a year off from school. Then, if he has enough money saved, he’d like to enroll in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
“It’s one of the top theatre programs, so it’s either there or LA” (Los Angeles), Hill said. “My ultimate goal is to do Broadway (productions) and film (movies). I like Broadway more because you get an immediate response from the audience. But I love film, too.”
Hill is happy to be at Cowley his sophomore year.
“I enjoy it here,” he said. “And I love (director of vocal music) Connie (Donatelli). She’s great. I came to an honor choir event here out of high school. We sang Ava Maria. The way she taught us, I fell in love with her.”