W. Anthony "Tony" Neal joins President Miller's Leadership team
Dec. 6, 2018 -- Literary legend Thomas Wolfe wrote “You can’t go home again,” generally taken to mean that a person cannot truly go back to a place where he or she once lived because things have changed.
That may be true to some extent, but a person can return home with the goal of making a difference.
W. Anthony “Tony” Neal is returning to his South Memphis roots after being hired as LeMoyne-Owen College’s vice president for Institutional Advancement.
Neal officially joins LOC President Andrea Lewis Miller’s leadership team Monday, Dec. 10. As VP for Institutional Advancement, he will be the 156-year-old college’s chief fundraiser.
In announcing Neal’s hiring to faculty and staff, President Miller said, Neal “has a passion for assisting HBCUs and nonprofits with development and fundraising.”
“He had a distinguished fundraising career with the United Way of the Mid-South in Memphis, and with United Way organizations in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina before accepting an opportunity at Bennett College, a HBCU in Goldsboro, North Carolina.”
During his time in higher education, Dr. Neal has held various positions including VP of Institutional Advancement at Bennett College, an HBCU in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he secured the largest individual gifts in the College’s history and led a $30 million capital campaign that led to three new buildings, the first on-campus construction in more than 30 years.
He also was VP of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the college’s Foundation at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, where he helped to lead an annual giving increase from $500,000 to $4.2 million over three years.
Neal said he is “excited about returning home. LeMoyne-Owen always has been jewel. I am excited about working with Dr. Miller and helping her accomplish institutional goals.”
Neal has deep roots in South Memphis. He grew up on Kerr Avenue, across from the old Hamilton High School. His family later moved to the Indian Hills area of Southwest Memphis. He attended Lanier Junior High School and graduated from Westwood High School, where he played football, a sport in which he garnered All-Memphis and High School All-American honors. He also played basketball.
“Dr. Miller is building a great team of educators and professionals to continue the transformational work taking place” at LeMoyne-Owen. “The college has been a fixture on Walker Avenue since 1914. I want to help the college have an impact. I have a vested interest in helping the community. This is my home.”
“We all have a responsibility, particularly African-American men, to reach out to those in the community and try to positively impact their lives. What better place to do that than in the community where I grew up,” Neal said.
Elaborating on his role as LOC’s chief fundraiser, Neal said, “It is important for me to develop a package that tells the community why it is important to support the college. It is important that the business and corporate community understand why it is important for them to help us grow.”
Neal is the latest addition to President Miller’s leadership team as she, with the support of the college’s Board of Trustees, strives to make her Destination 2023 institutional renaissance initiative a reality. The core of that process is grounded in two basic questions about the college’s identity: Who are we and what do we aim to accomplish? Destination 2023 lays out a strategic roadmap, with a focus on excellence, which reaffirms the future of LeMoyne-Owen College for generations to come.
Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Adriane Johnson-Williams, special assistant for Strategy and Planning, joined the LeMoyne-Owen community last summer. Dr. Teresa A. Jones, senior executive assistant to the President/executive director of Title III, joined the LOC family in late fall.
Neal received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, a Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
He has publications on issues HBCUs face in fundraising, specifically from alumni. Dr. Neal’s most recent article, “A Giving Dilemma for HBCU Graduates; Church or Alma Mater,” explores the decisions HBCU graduates face when allocating their philanthropic monies.
He and his wife Patricia Newman Neal, a financial/retail reporter for OTR Global, have three adult sons – Stephen, a student at North Carolina A&T University; Marcus, a student at Bluefield State College, and Michael, a graduate of East Carolina University.