Neyland Hester of Traskwood, Ark, former director of Administrative Services at the University of Arkansas at Little died Monday, Jan. He celebrated his 90th birthday on October 21.
Hester came to UALR in 1963 as the institution’s first director of University Relations and wore many hats during his 23 years of loyal and devoted service to the university.
As director of development, he worked closely with the president and the board of trustees in the university’s second capital campaign that reached its goal of $1.5 million. While serving as assistant to the president from 1967 and assistant to the chancellor from 1970 to 1971, he was involved the merger of Little Rock University and University of Arkansas.
As director of special projects during the 1970’s, Hester supervised the office of Alumni Affairs, News Services, Computing Services, University Publications, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Institutional Studies. He was appointed as the university’s first director of affirmative action and performed the duties of that office with great diligence for 10 years.
He was an instructor in journalism for 12 years and taught evening courses during the 1960s and 1970s.
He was a consultant to several Arkansas public school districts, Philander Smith College and Quapaw Council of Boy Scouts of America.
One of the things that the UALR community will remember was his kindness. He was an ordained minister and officiated many faculty and staff nuptials, and he met his wife Scherrie at UALR as well.
Hester was a master woodworker. As he neared retirement he and Scherrie spent their spare time building their dream home – a log cabin in Traskwood with a large barn for his woodworking.
The Hesters retired in 1986 to their new home with an invitation to all to come visit anytime. He graciously made custom clocks that were presented to the Distinguished Alumni, and Scherrie has established a scholarship in his honor. He will be missed.