Anniversary Gala

The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 14th Anniversary Gala

Honoring Sam and Lillian Hill and The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation

April 27, 2024

Join us at the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 14th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 27, 2024!

Funds raised from this event support the Hylton Center’s many artistic programs, Veterans and the Arts Initiative, educational outreach, and the Hylton Center’s endowment, ensuring artistic excellence across Hylton Center performances and offerings.

Sponsorships and individual tickets are available now. 

Gala Schedule

Saturday, April 27, 2024

6 p.m. Reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer

7:30 p.m. Dinner, Honoree Tribute, and Raise Your Paddle on the Merchant Hall stage

9 p.m. Desserts and drinks in the Didlake Grand Foyer

About the Honorees

Sam and Lillian Hill

Sam and Lillian Hill have long been champions of education in the greater Prince William County area and beyond. Dr. Sam Hill served as the provost at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College for 17 years, retiring in 2022. During that time, he was instrumental in growing enrollment, transforming the physical campus, and expanding programming. The Hills have also been involved with the Hylton Center since its inception, including being Copper Circle members, participating in the Take a Seat campaign, serving as co-chairs of the capital campaign, and attending performances regularly.

The Hills have a robust history of community involvement. Sam served as a commissioner on the Prince William County Future 2030 Commission, as well as a board member for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, and the Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas and Prince William County (now known as ARTFactory). He is a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy at Quantico, the Lead Virginia program, and most recently, the Prince William County Citizens Police Academy. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors for the Manassas Ballet Theatre, Potomac Health Foundation, and Northern Virginia Family Service, and he serves as a member of the Lake Ridge Rotary Club. Most recently, the Hills led the effort, with the support of several local businesses and organizations, to bring the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Program Traveling Exhibit to the Manassas Regional Airport.

Dr. Hill attended elementary and high school in Monrovia, Liberia, and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He earned a master’s degree in counseling the deaf and hearing impaired from Gallaudet University, where he met fellow education advocate Lillian. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Texas Tech University.

Lillian Hill’s journey in the education field took her from undergraduate studies at Spelman College to graduate school at Gallaudet University, where she earned a Master of Arts in Education of the Deaf with a preschool specialization. She taught deaf and hard of hearing students for over a decade and went on to teach preschoolers in both Illinois and Fairfax County, Virginia. She has been featured in Instructor Magazine for her work and has even traveled to Egypt with an educational ambassador program. In addition to teaching, Lillian was also a member of the San Antonio Ballet Company, dancing with the corps de ballet for four years. After 39 years of teaching, Lillian retired in 2018 and currently volunteers with Northern Virginia Food Rescue, serving as a Food Rescue Hero.

The Hills have been married for 47 years, and have one daughter, Lisa.

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation has supported a wide range of charitable causes across Prince William County and the Northern Virginia area since its establishment in 1989. From the arts to human and family services, education, health, and other community interests, their philanthropic spirit has breathed life into this region.

The Hylton name is synonymous with the growth of Prince William County and Manassas. Cecil D. Hylton was the founder of the Hylton Group, a real estate development company that built tens of thousands of homes and developed the localities of Dale City, Manassas Park, Marumsco, and more in the 1970s. In addition to bringing communities to life with residential and commercial developments, the Hyltons have made their mark on this region in various ways, including the Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel and C.D. Hylton High School (which is home to the Irene V. Hylton Planetarium). Their support has also included the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington (Hylton Club) and The Hylton Family Birthing Center at Prince William Hospital (now UVA Health Prince William Medical Center). 

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation has been an ardent supporter of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since its earliest days, providing a catalyzing gift in 2007 to complete the construction of the Center. Throughout the life of the Hylton Center, the Foundation has provided critical operating support, ensuring that this region continues to have access to artistic excellence. The Foundation has provided support for the breadth of the work done at the Hylton Center, to include capital project support, programming support, and support of the Hylton Center Endowment, to ensure artistic excellence in the programs and performances we offer. 

In 2021, the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation made a generous gift to the Senator Charles J. Colgan Community Arts Fund, which helps offset the space rental expenses for members of the Arts Alliance and enables them to present their seasons at the Hylton Center. Thanks to this gift, the Hylton Center waived these rental fees for the Arts Alliance for 18 months, alleviating some of the financial hardship that members of the Arts Alliance experienced due to the pandemic. In 2023, the Hylton Foundation extended this grant for an additional 12 months, providing unprecedented support for this cohort of treasured local arts organizations.

The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation is led by Conrad Hylton, president of the Hylton Group.

Raise Your Paddle for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative

Live auction

Get ready to “Raise Your Paddle” to support the Veterans and the Arts Initiative! Your gift, no matter the size, will directly support access to programs that the Hylton Center has provided to over 14,000 of our Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and community members since 2014. Through the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, military-connected community members participate in hands-on workshops, attend exhibitions, and experience concerts honoring military service. Your support will help to keep these programs free and accessible for all.

Thank You to our 14th Anniversary Gala Presenting Sponsor

Compton and Duling Logo

14th Anniversary Gala Committee

Maryse Allen

Sheryl Bass

David Baylor

Diane Burrell

Sarah Cissna

Joyce Connery

Jacque Connor

Rick Davis

Niyati Dhokai

Quinton Doe

Randall Edwards

Marlene Epstein

Barbara Ghadban

Allison Jones

Carolyn Kriebel

Dylan Lambert

Christopher Leet

Angel Olson

Sarah Perlman

Rich Seraydarian

Emily Smith

Loza Teodros

Marion Wall

The Hylton Center thanks our past honorees for their dedication to and support of the arts in our community:

  • 13th Anniversary: Carlos Castro and The Jacquemin Family Foundation
  • 12th Anniversary: Lovey Hammel and Denise McPhail
  • 11th Anniversary: Celebration of the Arts Alliance
  • 10th Anniversary Gala: Odin, Feldman, and Pittleman
  • 9th Anniversary Gala: Buchanan Partners and Nancy Hersch Ingram
  • 8th Anniversary Gala: Julie and Buck Waters
  • 7th Anniversary Gala: Mary and Hans Postma
  • 6th Anniversary Gala: NOVEC and Sally Lay
  • 5th Anniversary Gala: Novant Health UVA Health System and Dean William Reeder
  • 4th Anniversary Gala: Didlake, John O. Gregory, and Carol Merchant Kirby
  • 3rd Anniversary Gala: Dr. Randall Edwards, Dr. Marvin L. Gillum (in memorium), and the Honorable Kathleen K. Seefeldt
  • 2nd Anniversary Gala: Alan C. Merten and Sally L. Merten
  • 1st Anniversary Gala: Senator Charles J. Colgan

For information about future Gala sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dylan Lambert at 703-993-7061 or