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A-State Distinguished Alumni Anderson Neal Junior

Video courtesy of Arkansas State University Vimeo Channel

This is A-State Connections on KASU. I’m Johnathan Reaves. Recently, the Arkansas State University Alumni Association announced selections for the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are Charles Kruse of Dexter, Missouri, Anderson Neal Jr. of Texarkana, and Paden Neeley of Lewisville, Texas. We are playing comments from each of the recipients that were recorded at a ceremony held last month. Today, we honor Anderson Neal Jr.

A longtime member of the Arkansas Air National Guard, Neal was commissioned in 1989 and served in numerous assignments, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel before retirement. He was deployed multiple times, including tours of duty in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, other NATO countries, and during 9/11, and received numerous commendations for his dedicated military service.

An Augusta native, Neal earned his Bachelor of Science degree in plant science in 1978 and went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a soil conservationist. Progressing through a 37 1/2-year career, he retired as deputy director of USDA's Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

For more than 30 years, Neal has been very involved in the programs of the Strong-Turner Chapter of the A-State Alumni Association. He has served in numerous capacities, dedicating his efforts to recruiting and retaining Black students, faculty and staff at Arkansas State. He also has assisted the Black Student Association in many ways, and helped establish and continues to support the annual Black Alumni Reunion.

In memory of his late wife, Marietha Goodwin-Neal, a Brinkley native and A-State alumna, he endowed a scholarship fund to assist outstanding A-State students with completing their education. Their adult daughters are Miranda (Brian) Green and Mylia Neal.

Here are the comments from Anderson Neal Jr. during a recent awards ceremony.

That was one of the Distinguished Alumni recipients Anderson Neal Jr. Next week, we will play comments from Paden Neeley. This is the 37th year the association has recognized the university’s most distinguished alumni.

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.