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Former University Relations Director Dies

Dr. Neyland Hester, 90, of Traskwood, a long-time administrator at UALR, died Monday, Jan. 28, at the Hot Spring County Medical Center. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of J.A. Funk Funeral Home.

Neyland HesterDr. Hester joined UALR in 1963 as the institution’s first director of University Relations and wore many hats during his 23 years of 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 to 1970 and assistant to the chancellor from 1970 to 1971, he was involved the merger of Little Rock University and the University of Arkansas System.

As director of special projects during the 1970s, 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.

He was an instructor in journalism for 12 years and taught evening courses during the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a consultant to several Arkansas public school districts, Philander Smith College and Quapaw Council of Boy Scouts of America. As an ordained minister, he officiated many faculty and staff nuptials. He also met his wife Scherrie at UALR.

In his spare time, Dr. 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 family has requested memorials to UALR or to the Traskwood United Methodist Church. To make a gift to UALR in his honor, go to and designate the Dr. Neyland Hester fund. You can send a check payable to the UA Foundation to the UALR Office of Development, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204-1009.