• La Vonne Neal
    La Vonne Neal

Southwestern University will host a community dinner to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16, at 5 p.m. in the McCombs Ballrooms. The theme for the dinner will be “Sustaining the Dream.” 

Featured speaker for the dinner will be La Vonne Neal, dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Neal was on the faculty at Southwestern from 1997 to 2005 before she left to become dean of the College of Education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She was named dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Education in April 2010.

A native of Philadelphia, Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from LaSalle University. After that, she entered the U.S. Army as a 2nd lieutenant and later earned the rank of captain, specializing in military intelligence. There she gained experience in leadership and strategic planning that she successfully applied as a manager for such leading corporations as Johnson and Johnson Inc., Kraft Foods Inc., and Miller Brewing Company Inc.

Neal went back to school to become an educator and received master’s and doctoral degrees in special education from The University of Texas at Austin. She spent five years teaching social studies in the Round Rock Independent School District before joining the Southwestern faculty in 1997. While at Southwestern, Neal served as director of the university’s secondary education teacher certification program and received the university’s Exemplary Teaching Award in 2002-2003.

Neal is co-editor of the Black History Bulletin along with Alicia Moore, associate professor of education at Southwestern.

The dinner is free for Southwestern students, and $5 for faculty, staff and members of the community. For reservations, call 512-863-1342 or write tjohnson@southwestern.edu.



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