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David Hillman

Graduation 2016

From Left to Right: David Hillman, Gül Branco, and Rushern L. Baker III

Two days before thousands of people from all walks of life gathered at the Hotel at the University of Maryland to honor David Hillman, Prince George’s Suite published an article with a headline of “Our David – Builder, Humanitarian David Hillman, CEO of Southern Management Corp., Leaves Great Legacy”. It detailed David Hillman’s dedication to work and excellence that made him a successful businessman and his dedication to humanitarianism that made his legacy. Indeed he was a humanitarian and The Hillman Entrepreneurs Program he founded more than a decade ago is his legacy; and yes, he was “Our David!”

I have been with the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program more than five years. My favorite day of the year has always been the graduation day. Except last year, David was always there to celebrate this milestone in our students’ lives. On May 8, 2015, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, David’s longtime friend, also joined us as a keynote speaker. David was so proud. On January 4th, 2018 Mr. Baker and I shared the same stage, this time honoring David at his memorial service. David was with us in spirit.

Mr. Baker released the following statement: “On behalf of the citizens of Prince George County, I offer my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of my dear friend and Southern Management Corporation Founder and CEO, David Hillman. David was an incredible humanitarian and businessman who also spread goodwill throughout Prince George’s County and the National Capital Region. Through The David H. and Suzanne D. Hillman Family Foundation, his philanthropic efforts greatly benefited our community. David and Suzanne Hillman created the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program to support community college students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education by offering them scholarships to help cover the costs of tuition and books and then supporting them in a seamless transfer to the University of Maryland in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree. As Prince George’s County Executive, I was honored to have the support and partnership of David Hillman. My family and I will much miss David, and we extend our prayers, condolences and support to his wife, Suzanne, and the entire Hillman family during this difficult time. David Hillman was a giant in the business community of the State of Maryland, and National Capital Region and his influence will be felt for generations ahead, but, more importantly, the impact on the thousands of young people he helped support and educate will far exceed his legacy as a businessman. He will be greatly missed.”

As we are preparing for the spring commencement with the highest number of graduates in the history of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, my heart aches to know that our David will not be at the graduation. However, I find comfort in knowing that his legacy and love will continue with the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program.

I would like to end with a quote from Leo Buscaglia, “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.”

- Gül Branco, Director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at the University of Maryland

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Our mailing address is:

Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, Office of Undergraduate Studies
2301 Marie Mount Hall College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301.405.7760