The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) joins the Virgin Islands community in mourning the loss of Dr. Athniel C. “Addie” Ottley, legendary broadcaster whose voice was known and loved throughout the Caribbean and beyond. For more than fifty years, Ottley passionately served the VI community as a broadcaster, government leader and ambassador of goodwill. In recognition of his lifelong service to the community, UVI awarded Ottley an honorary doctorate degree in 2018.
“Dr. Ottley was a consummate Virgin Islands treasure, an icon, culture bearer, an avid supporter of the University of the Virgin Islands, but for my part, I will miss my friend,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall. “Addie welcomed me to the Virgin Islands through his voice, kindness and deep commitment to making the Virgin Islands a better place for everyone. I always felt at home in his presence. He had no agenda other than progress and love for all,” remembered Dr. Hall. “On behalf of the University, I offer my deepest condolences to his family. His passing has left an enormous hole in our hearts.”
From a very early age, Ottley showed an interest in communications. He built and operated his own ham radio station, becoming the first teenager to be granted such a license in the Virgin Islands. He attended the RCA Institute of Technology in New York majoring in electronics and subsequently attended Indiana Institute of Technology majoring in electronics and engineering. In 1965, Ottley returned to St. Thomas where he worked at WSTA and was later promoted to manager. During this period, he started his widely popular and respected radio program and extended his community involvement by hosting the weekly television series Face to Face produced by WTJX the Virgin Islands Public Broadcasting Station. Over the decades, Virgin Islanders relied on Ottley for the news of the day, spirited interviews, live Carnival parade commentary and critical information in times of crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Hugo, Marilyn, Irma and Maria, people everywhere tuned into Ottley for help finding loved ones and neighbors, to seek medical attention, for important recovery updates and for reassurance and comfort.
More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI Website-www.uvi.edu/ - and from this direct link