Former University president receives posthumous award

Hospice of Cincinnati recognizes James Hoff, S.J., as service volunteer of the year | July 13, 2005

At its annual volunteer luncheon, Hospice of Cincinnati awarded former University President James E. Hoff, S.J., with a posthumous award for his years of dedicated service as a spiritual care volunteer with the organization's patients and families. The Donna West Memorial Volunteer Award for Community Service honors those whose commitment and energy have made an indelible and exceptional contribution to the lives of Hospice of Cincinnati patients and families.

"He blessed many of our families with the gift of time and self and was never reticent to face the difficult issues or conversations," says Steve West, CEO of Hospice of Cincinnati. "His presence was a powerful inspiration to us all." West also notes the incredible contributions of Hoff—from his leadership of multimillion-dollar projects at Xavier to his nursing home visits as a humble pastoral volunteer with Hospice of Cincinnati. "Not only did he achieve great things in his lifetime, but he also took the time to do the simple things that meant wonders to others."

Kelly Leon, director for public relations at Xavier, accepted the award on behalf of Hoff, who died on July 23, 2004. She spoke of the inspiration Hoff's friendship brought to her life and the importance of Hospice in his life. “I can hear him telling me about the Hospice patients who enriched his life,” says Leon. “It was never a story about him helping them. It was always a story about an amazing individual who made him look at life through a different set of circumstance, someone who was reflecting on their life while preparing for death. He was so grateful to share the experience with them.”

Hoff's presence will be missed by those at Hospice of Cincinnati, says West. "Father Hoff shared our vision for expanding the role of Hospice of Cincinnati in the community, specifically in creating a Bereavement Center where families can gather to honor their loved ones year round. His inspiration to all of us remains as we move forward to fulfill that vision."