Tuesday, May 12, 2015
joseph hill with student

Currently lives in: Middletown, Delaware

Sgt. Hill served with India Company, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines in Vietnam from 1966-67. His awards include: Purple Heart, Purple Heart with gold star, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color with ribbon bar, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, Two Bronze stars for the Presidential Unit Citations, Combat Action Ribbon.

Tell us about your years at UNH and what you've been up to since.
In 1969 I entered UNH as a freshman in the class of 1973. I was still suffering from my wounds, I had skin problems related to my exposure to Agent Orange, and was suffering from nightmares (PTSD) from being in constant heavy combat. After leaving UNH because I could no longer afford to pay tuition, I returned to my hometown of New York City. At that time, New York had a dire need for case workers in the inner city. I applied and was hired and would spent the next seven years in the so-called tough areas of the city. As my case load increased and my pay remained stagnant because of New York City's fiscal crisis, I took an exam to become a court officer. I would remain in the courts for 27 years. I took the test and passed for the position of senior court officer allowing me to work in Supreme Court, Criminal Term. I later was appointed a senior court clerk and finally a grand juror warden. I was appointed to Community Board No. 16 by then Borough President Howard Golden of Brooklyn, N.Y. I had been nominated by Councilman Enoch H. Williams.

I was awarded the Award for Merit: "Awarded for outstanding professionalism in the performance of duty," by the New York Supreme Court Officers Association. I was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for the 11th Annual Gift Giving for Needy Children on behalf of George Johnson's Celebration Benefits. I also received the Office of Special Narcotics, City of New York, "The Achievement Award in Recognition of Outstanding Accomplishments and Exemplary Performance" by Robert H. Silbering, Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York. December, 1993

What organizations were you involved with during your UNH years?
I hosted a radio show at WUNH radio. I was appointed to the Joint Student-Faculty Board on Black Student Affairs by then President of the University, John W. McConnell, on Nov. 18, 1969.

What is one of your favorite or unique UNH memories or experiences?
I enjoyed watching the basketball games against UMASS who then featured an unknown player, Julius Erving. We had our own star in David Pemberton. The shutting down of the campus in spring 1970 in protest of the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State.

Who were your role models and/or mentors while here at UNH, and how did they impact your life?
My role models at UNH were Don Land and Myrna Adams.

What advice would you give to current UNH students of color, or any students, based on what you learned while at UNH, and what you've learned from life after college?
Current students of color should set goals for themselves and never waiver from achieving your goals.

How do you reflect on your UNH years?
I often thought to write the University in hopes that I may be awarded an honorary degree, but now I thank God for sparing my life. I never thought I would survive Vietnam.


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    Staff writer | Communications and Public Affairs