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G. William Whitehurst ’50 Named Norfolk’s First Citizen in Civic Affairs

Former U.S. Rep. G. William Whitehurst, a 1950 graduate of Washington and Lee University, will receive the 2014 Distinguished Service Medal as Norfolk’s First Citizen in Civic Affairs. The award will be presented March 7 at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.

Bill, a Norfolk native, served in the Navy during World War II and received a bachelor’s in history from W&L. The following year, he earned a master’s in history at the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in American diplomatic history at West Virginia University in 1962.

He began his teaching career at the Norfolk Division of William & Mary in the History Department. In 1963, he was appointed dean of students and held the job until he was elected to Congress in 1968 as Representative for the 2nd District of Virginia. He was the first Republican to represent the Hampton Roads area since the Civil War. He was reelected eight more times, retiring in 1987. For most of his tenure in Congress, he served on the Armed Services Committee. Bill kept a diary of his Congressional activities and subsequently published two volumes of excerpts covering the years 1972 to 1981. They are “Diary of a Congressman” and “Diary of a Congressman: Abscam and Beyond.”

After retiring from Congress, Bill returned to teaching and is the Kaufman lecturer in Public Affairs at Old Dominion University, focusing on history and political science courses.