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Hill Chosen as Outstanding Virginian

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The event is really more for friends and family, he says, especially children.

And there's more fuss to come.

On Saturday, May 10, Hill will be tapped as the Outstanding Virginian for 2003. Hill is the oldest Virginian, and the first African-American, to receive the honor.

The Outstanding Virginian Committee, a committee of 21 charged by the General Assembly with judging potential candidates, selected Hill for the award. It will be bestowed on Hill at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational and Conference Center near Front Royal.

"I'm very pleased that this is happening," says Hill's colleague, retired Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico of the Virginia Supreme Court. Carrico, whose own career has spanned half a century, served on the panel that chose Hill.

As an attorney Hill fought for civil rights for Virginians for 59 years; he served on Richmond City Council in 1948, and was a member of the Richmond City Democratic Committee, now the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Oh, and he helped win the landmark case that outlawed segregation in the nation's schools — Brown vs. Board of Education — whose 50th anniversary will be celebrated nationwide next year.

In 1984 the General Assembly passed Joint House Resolution No. 165, which designated the second Saturday in May as "Outstanding Virginia Day" to recognize individuals whose lives had significantly improved their communities. The first recipient was former U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. Last year Northern Virginia developers and education advocates John T. Hazel Jr. and William A. Hazel jointly were chosen. Honorees in between include governors, judges, heads of Virginia colleges and philanthropists.

The purpose of Outstanding Virginian Day is to provide a forum for leadership and further the civic-minded mission of the Virginian Citizen Hall of Fame at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center.

4-H, by the way, stands for "head, heart, hands and health." The gesture of this award underscores what Hill has worked a lifetime to achieve. —

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