David Hillman, the founder and chairman of the company that built and manages The Hotel at the University of Maryland, died Dec. 27 at 75 after battling cancer for 15 months, according to a company press release.

A memorial service for Hillman was scheduled to be held at The Hotel at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Hotel broke ground in 2014 and officially opened in September. It is considered an "anchor" for the area, according to several hotel and city officials. Southern Management Corporation, which Hillman founded in 1981, is also in the process of building a Cambria Hotel and Suites in College Park along Route 1.

Hillman got his start in property management in 1965, the press release said. The Virginia-based Southern Management Corporation is now the mid-Atlantic region's largest owner-operated property management company, according to its website.

Hillman was also the vice president of the David H. and Suzanne D. Hillman Family Foundation. In 2006, the foundation provided a $1.7 million gift to create the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program through a partnership with Prince George's Community College and this university.

The program is a scholarship initiative with a focus on entrepreneurs "who want to energize and give back to their local communities," the program's website says.

"We want to give people confidence to fail, to try, to walk differently than anybody else," Hillman wrote on the program's site. "It will make the world a better place."

Hillman is survived by a daughter, a son, a sister, three grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, The Baltimore Sun reported. Hillman's wife, Suzanne Hillman, married him in 1981 and became CEO of Southern Management Corporation in December. David Hillman was married once before, but it ended in divorce, according to the Sun.

"He was a deal junkie," she told the Sun. "He loved putting something together that no one else could do."