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

Prominent Civic Leader, Former Board of Visitors Member Irvine Hill Dies

Irvine Hill, a local executive who served as mayor of Norfolk and for five years was a member of Old Dominion University's Board of Visitors, has died. He was 87.

A prominent broadcasting executive, politician and civic leader in Norfolk for more than 40 years, Hill was appointed in 1993 to fill an unexpired one-year term on Old Dominion's Board of Visitors. He was then reappointed to a full, four-year term.

During his time on the Board, he served as chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee, vice chair of the Student Affairs Committee and as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee.

"Irvine Hill was a dear friend to me and so many others at Old Dominion," said President John R. Broderick. "He served distinctly for five years on our Board of Visitors and chaired my Institutional Advancement committee, while I was a vice president, for three years. He was a terrific volunteer for the Economics Club of Hampton Roads and attended every State of the University Address I gave, up until this year. Throughout the years, he was a tremendous supporter of Old Dominion both in his 'Hampton Roads Speaks Out' program and in the community. He will be sorely missed."

Born in 1927 to Madeline and Herman Hill, he graduated from Norfolk's Maury High School and later attended the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary. He also studied broadcasting management at Harvard's School of Business.

From 1963-1979, Hill was president and general manager of WCMS Radio in Norfolk. He was a member of Norfolk City Council from 1972 to 1976, and served as mayor from 1974 to 1976. In 1983, Hill joined Cox Communications, where he oversaw programming and community relations as vice president of public affairs.

Hill conducted more than 15,000 interviews and produced 5,000 programs for WCOX channel 11, most notably "Hampton Roads Speaks Out." Other programs included "Portraits," "Viewpoints" and "A Visit With."

He is also distinguished for his community service in the Hampton Roads region, particularly in fund-raising and volunteer recruitment for numerous organizations and charities.

Hill also received numerous awards, including the 2000 Distinguished Service Medal as Norfolk's First Citizen; the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association's (VCTA) Outstanding Community Relations Award; Eastern Virginia Medical School's President's Medallion; the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award; the Knights of Columbus Man of the Year; Norfolk Police Department Man of the Year; the Old Dominion University Certificate of Achievement; and the Tidewater Builder's Association's Irvine B. Hill Media Excellence Award.

Besides serving on Old Dominion's Board of Visitors, Hill was on numerous other boards and commissions throughout his career. He was national director emeritus of the Navy League, president of the Southside Boys Club, an Urban League board member, chairman of the United Nations Association, and president of the Economics Club of Hampton Roads.

Hill's wife of 51 years, Elizabeth Stewart Hill, died in 2000. They had two daughters. In 2001, Hill married Marjorie Batty Dey. She died in 2011.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 2 at 2p.m. at St. Andrew Episcopal Church (1004 Graydon Ave) with a reception following at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.

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