CU English professor Dr. Bill Neal, chair of Division of Humanities, dies at 69

CU English professor Dr. Bill Neal, chair of Division of Humanities, dies at 69

Nov. 4, 2012
For Immediate Release

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Funeral for Dr. Bill Neal, professor of English and chair of the division of humanities at Campbellsville University, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home in Campbellsville.

Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the funeral home. Dr. Ted Taylor, a theology professor at Campbellsville University and transitional pastor at Campbellsville Baptist Church, will conduct the funeral. Burial will be in Brookside Cemetery in Campbellsville.

 
 Dr. William R. Neal
Neal, who taught at CU since 1991, died Saturday, Nov. 3, at his home on Delia Drive in Campbellsville. He was 69.

“Dr. William Neal was a dedicated and beloved member of the faculty at Campbellsville University. His love of teaching is evidenced in the lives and professional careers of countless individuals who studied English and literature in Dr. Neal’s classes,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said.

Carter said Neal was “committed to his students and the Christian higher education mission of CU.

“On behalf of the Campbellsville University family, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mrs. Neal and their family.”

Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs at CU, said, “Bill Neal was respected by all the faculty and loved by his students. His death is a tremendous loss for Campbellsville University and to me personally.”

Current and former CU students have expressed their sadness about Neal’s death. They describe him as a “kind” and “nice” man.

Junior English major Aaron Celeste Presley of Georgetown, Ky. had Neal as a professor in two classes. He was also her adviser.

“Dr. Neal was a exceptional professor,” she said. “It was obvious that he loved his job and as his students; we felt the benefits of that daily. We are all saddened and shocked by the unexpected loss of a favorite professor. It’s hard to imagine being in class without him. He will be greatly missed, but it is a great comfort to know he is with the Lord.”

Rebecca Ballard Colvin of Lexington graduated in 1993 and said even though it has been nearly 20 years since she graduated, she still has very fond memories of him.

“I am personally grateful to Dr. Neal. When my schedule did not allow me to be in two classes he taught one summer, Dr. Neal allowed me to take those classes by appointment. He met with me individually and gave of his personal time to make sure I could get my degree. He was that dedicated to his profession and even more importantly to his students.

“I think that’s one of the reasons Campbellsville is so different from having attended a larger university.

“Dr. Neal was a great professor and very kind person.”

JeNie Lobb Altman of Campbellsville, who received her undergraduate degree in 1996, posted on Facebook, “He was a wonderful teacher, advisor and friend. I spent many hours in his classroom or office, asking questions, debating, laughing or just talking. He will be missed.”

Neal became chair of the CU Division of Humanities in August 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas College, now Lyon College, in Batesville, Ark. He received his master’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Mississippi. Postgraduate work was done at the University of Louisville.

Neal was an adjunct faculty member at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., from 1986 until 1991. He was also an adjunct faculty member at College Misericordia in Dallas, Penn., from 1989 until 1991.

He worked in business management in Kingston, Penn., from 1983 to 1991 and wrote educational materials for the International Correspondence School in Scranton, Penn.

He also served as interim academic dean and director of academic development at Shorter College in Little Rock, Ark. He also taught at Southern Arkansas University, North Arkansas Community College and Arkansas State University.

He has served as a member of Sigma Tau Delta (National English Honor Society) since 1977.

He also belonged to the National Council of Teachers of English, the Modern Language Association, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Kentucky Association for Developmental Education.

In 1981, Neal received the Governor’s Certificate of Merit from Gov. Frank White of Arkansas. The award was for his outstanding community service in recognition of his part in reactivating a college education program for inmates of Arkansas prisons.

He was born and raised in Brockwell, Ark. to the late Amos and Ethel Owens Neal.

Neal was married to Beth Ann McCarty Neal, who survives. Survivors also include a son, John, a CU graduate, and his fiancée, Katrina Melton of Lexington, Ky.; a daughter, Joanna Neal of Portland, Ore., a step-son, Christian Darrow and his wife, April, of Dalton, Penn.; and two step-grandchildren, Ashley Darrow and Ryan Darrow of Dalton.

The family asks that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to Gideon Memorial Bibles and may be made at Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

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