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Dr. W. Weldon Hill, VSU Provost to Receive the Prestigious Dubois-Toppin Award

Published date: April 12, 2016

Virginia State University’s Graduate Research Initiative (VGRI) and Graduate Student Association will jointly recognize Dr. W. Weldon Hill, VSU Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, as the recipient of the Dubois-Toppin Award at VGRI’s Ninth Annual Symposium.  The award will be presented on April 13 in the L. Douglas Wilder Building at during the 4:45 plenary session. VGRI confers the Dubois-Toppin Award annually to deserving individuals for their immense contributions to graduate research and scholarship. The award is named after the famous historian and scholar W.E. B Dubois and VSU historian Edgar A. Toppin, VSU’s first Dean of the Graduate School.  

A staunch supporter of student scholarship and research initiatives, Dr. Hill’s illustrious career and achievements embody the true spirit of VGRI principles of scholarship and research. He was the 1986 recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows award, and in 1994, Dr. Hill was awarded the Plan for Social Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the Harvard University’s Management Development Program. In 2000, he was selected for yet another highly competitive recognition, the American Council on Education Fellows.

A multi-talented individual, Dr. Hill approaches his roles in all areas with equal ease and commitment-- whether as Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs with pressing responsibilities of a historic institution, as a gifted musician, or a dedicated educator.  

An active fundraiser and ardent proponent of sponsored research, Dr. Hill values research for its intrinsic value as a pedagogical tool and for its translational and developmental potential. Among his major accomplishments at VSU are the establishment of the University Research Foundation, implementation of Local Open Online Courses (LOOC), and a robust extended education program.

Dr. Hill’s commitments have also encompassed active involvement in public and private educational and innovative ventures. As a Virginia gubernatorial appointee, he serves on the Board of the Virginia University Research Partnership (a research and development consortium) and the Board of New College Institute, Martinsville, Virginia. He currently serves on advisory boards for the Grants Resource Center and the Economic Development Task Force, both organized under the aegis of the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Additionally, he is a member of the Virginia Instructional Programs Advisory Council and the Virginia Wizard Advisory Board of the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia.

A distinguished musicologist and pianist, Dr. Hill is active as a performer, composer, and writer, and has shared the stage with artists such as Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Steve Wilson, Marleana Shaw, Benny Carter, Donald Harrison, Earnie Andrews, Andrew White, Herb Jeffries, and  Jimmy Heath.

In their statement, VGRI Co-Chairs Dr. Bernice Carson and Dr. Cheryl Adeyemi praised Dr. Hill for his unwavering support of the VGRI over the years, and that the VGRI community is truly honored to recognize Dr. Hill as the recipient of the prestigious Dubois-Toppin Award.  

Established in 2007, the goal of VGRI is to encourage, nurture and advance the graduate students’ research and scholarship learning and practice through its annual symposium. The event is open to all students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and guests. In addition to research presentations and poster sessions, the symposium offers participants a unique opportunity for meaningful dialogue, networking and intellectual exchange.

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