Roundtable Spotlight - Ann Neville '66, '68
As she first entered East Carolina College in 1962 straight off her family’s farm in Orange County, NC, Ann Neville was immediately challenged by an influential history professor to look beyond her goals of becoming a high school teacher and strive to become a college professor. This challenge set her on a new journey to achieving her aspirations. Activities like serving as president for the Women’s Judiciary, and as house president of her sorority, shaped her into the woman she is today. Her lifetime involvement began when she was a college marshal. While serving punch at Board of Trustees events, she was privy to discussions leading to East Carolina’s fight for university status, and the beginning of plans for a medical school. Ann describes Leo Jenkins as her hero because, to her, he was “a modern-day David struggling with the Goliaths of North Carolina and its university system.” Though the battle to gain a medical school at ECU was tough, she is comforted in knowing that it did, in fact, become a reality.
Her time at East Carolina was just the beginning of her journey. Once she graduated with a degree in history in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968, Ann went on to teach history at Mount Olive College for the next three years. After her time there, she moved on to work at the University of Georgia department of housing while completing a degree in student personnel administration in higher education. This degree began her forty-year career as a college administrator and instructor in colleges throughout South Carolina and Tennessee. Ann led an accomplished career until she decided to retire from her final job as vice president for student affairs at Martin Methodist College.
Even though Ann worked at other colleges and traveled around the world, she remained a Pirate at heart. Reconnecting with ECU through the Women’s Roundtable and seeing a firsthand view of the progress the University has made, as well as the need to continue this progress, led her to consider making a gift to ECU. She wanted to make a gift that would help continue the plan of preparing native North Carolinians to provide family medical care to people in their community. As a result, Ann started the Ann Neville Scholarship in Family Medicine for the Brody School of Medicine. She gets a sense of happiness knowing that her gift will have a lasting impact in assisting future family practice medical students.
Ann’s work through the Women’s Roundtable has afforded her the opportunity to tour the new family practice quarters, meet students, and hear presentations by faculty and administrators. When describing her experience with the Women’s Roundtable she says, “We alumnae of ECU have a great opportunity to connect with, and be involved in, the life and future of ECU through the Women’s Roundtable.”
By getting reconnected with ECU, Ann has loved remembering and reliving some of the happiest moments of her life. She would tell any woman who is considering becoming involved with ECU and the Women’s Roundtable that, “with over 75,000 female graduates we are in a position to continue and enhance the ECU mission by our support. As nurturing individuals who care about quality of life we should give back because East Carolina once gave to us.”
Ann is pleasantly surprised to find that ECU continues to commit itself to proposals outlined by her hero, Leo Jenkins. She hopes that everyone understands ECU’s commitment to preparing the sons and daughters of North Carolina to provide medical care to the “homefolks.” She insists that “ECU’s tenacity in adhering to its mission over many decades” continues to impress her.
When she is not working or volunteering, Ann spends her time cheering on Pirate football and the Tennessee Titans, whose running back is former ECU player, Chris Johnson. She also enjoys traveling with friends. She attributes trips to places such as an Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and transiting the Panama Canal, as some of the most memorable moments of her life. While a very adventurous traveler, Ann still enjoys spending time nurturing her small town roots on her farm, with her border collie, Tuxedo, and riding her horse, appropriately named…Journey.