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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Prof. Bill Whitehurst Receives Service Club’s “First Citizen Award”

G. William "Bill" Whitehurst, Old Dominion's Kaufman Lecturer for Public Affairs, was recently honored by the Norfolk Cosmopolitan Club with the 2014 Distinguished Service Medal as Norfolk's First Citizen in Civic Affairs.

Whitehurst, who will turn 90 on Thursday, is a former Republican Congressman who began teaching history at ODU in 1950. A former dean of students, Whitehurst served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1987, then returned to teach at ODU.

Whitehurst, who still teaches two classes each semester, said in a profile published last week in the Virginian-Pilot he has no plans to retire.

"I feel like I've got a 30-year-old brain and a 90-year-old crate it's resting on," said Whitehurst, who also expressed the joy he receives from interacting with ODU's students. "(They) energize you. Their company is refreshing."

Senior Stephanie Hanson, who is majoring in political science and Spanish, told the Pilot that Whitehurst "is an awesome teacher; he really brings history to life. I feel like he's an integral part of an Old Dominion education, a true gem that makes the university special."

The Norfolk Cosmopolitan Club is a service and philanthropic organization chartered in 1924. It has given its "Norfolk First Citizen Award" annually since 1928.

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