We mourn the passing of our most beloved: Grandfather, father, fraternity brother, mentor and friend.
Otis O. Hill, Ed.D. was a leader of leaders who earned the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege of knowing him. A proud alum and advocate of Knoxville College where he served on the Board of Directors, he earned his Ed.D. in labor studies from Rutgers University. He was also a proud alum of the racially segregated Sterling High School in Greenville, SC where he played baseball alongside Jesse Jackson.
Dr. Hill committed his life to innovative academic administration and left a strong legacy at the City University of NY (CUNY) where he served and retired as Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Enrollment Management, serving from August 2000-2006. In his role as Vice Chancellor of CUNY, he advised the chancellery on all university and campus policy matters regarding student services and student life for over 216,000 students on 18 campuses that comprise the CUNY system. He oversaw budget allocations in excess of 10 million USD for general student services, admissions, athletics, students with disabilities and childcare. Dr. Hill began his academic career at Kingsborough Community College (KCC) in 1970 serving as a lecturer and then went on to different positions within Student Development and Enrollment Management (SDEM) culminating in the Vice Presidency for the last 6 years of his tenure at KCC. His work didn’t stop at retirement from Vice Chancellor in 2006, he took on other academic administrative roles including an interim presidency until 2010. His commitment to Student Development was unwavering and is evidenced by the “Otis Hill Scholarship” awarded to two KCC students annually and the “Otis Hill Award” for a CUNY student administrator, the award recognizes an SDEM professional who exemplifies Dr. Hill’s qualities and service by encouraging innovation and creativity in support of four key areas – recruitment, retention, graduation rates and student success.
Dr. Hill lived a life of service. He mentored his colleagues and friends, always reaching back to pull others up to reach greater heights than they could have ever imagined. The most admirable quality about him is that he never ever boasted about all of the lives he touched with his mentorship and support. As a result, Dr. Hill won numerous service and leadership awards throughout his life. His most cherished service organizations were Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Knoxville College Alumni Association and Big Brothers & Sisters. He pledged Beta Epsilon and was the founding Basileus of the Sigma Beta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in Westbury, NY and he served on the boards of Knoxville College and Big Brothers & Sisters, Nassau County. He also served in the National Guard in early adulthood.
Dr. Hill was considered a renaissance man. There weren’t too many things he couldn’t do. He had an angelic singing voice and was a member of the NY-based Carr-Hill Singers until 2000 when it disbanded. When the group was revived as the Carroll Buchanan Chorale in 2009, he toured with the group in Europe. He was the president and member of the last Knoxville College Octet under retiring director Dr. Newell C. Fitzpatrick. He was also a musician, playing piano and trombone in his childhood and college years. Dr. Hill was an avid golfer and a former semi-professional baseball player. He lit up any room with his charisma and “cool” and everyone who knew him wanted to be near him.
Finally, and most importantly, he was the best grandpa and dad imaginable. His life’s work will continue because he instilled a legacy of academic excellence, leadership and service in his family and so many others. He leaves behind his beloved granddaughter, daughter, son in law and significant other.
Dr. Hill will be missed by so many. We are so lucky this amazing man walked this earth with us.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the United Negro College Fund in Dr. Hill’s name (please use firstname.lastname@example.org as the notification email).
Please feel free to contact the family directly at email@example.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Otis O. Hill, please visit our floral store.