Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

divider line


divider line

View in portable document format.



Joe W. Neal, ninety-six, passed away at his home in Austin on January 14, 2013. He was born in Watertown, Tennessee, October 25, 1916, to Basil Young Neal and Katie Jo Greene and attended school in Tennessee before his family moved to Texas. Joe graduated from Brackenridge High School in San Antonio at age fifteen; he attended San Antonio Junior College and, as a student debater, had the opportunity to debate a Houston team, which was coached by Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ was very impressed with Joe, and the two fostered a relationship and maintained contact through his presidency. Joe transferred from San Antonio Junior College to The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD degrees in government.

He served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve from 1941 until 1972, retiring with the rank of colonel. During his military service, his life changed when a helicopter blade almost severed his right arm and left him with a life-long disability. In the early 1940s, Joe was employed in Washington, District of Columbia, and fondly remembered having tea with Eleanor Roosevelt.

In Shiner, Texas, on October 10, 1943, Joe married Clarice G. Hollman whom he had met while she attended UT Austin as an international student from Brazil. They had four children. Following the war, Joe returned to the University, joining the government department in 1946 and subsequently becoming a professor in the College of Communication. As an offshoot of his University service, Joe started the International Office, providing services to international students attending UT Austin. He served as Director of International Programs until his retirement from the University in 1986. In 1985, he chartered the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC), an organization of all the public universities in Texas for the purpose of promoting higher education internationally. He served as president and CEO of this organization until 1995.

Joe travelled around the world, being received by kings, queens, and heads of state and was responsible for receiving thousands of international students to The University of Texas at Austin and other Texas universities. Many of these students returned home to illustrious careers in government and business. As an extension of his vision, Joe was instrumental in the formation of national organizations related to international education, including the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA), the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), and the Texas Partners of the Americas. He reveled in entertaining family and visitors at gatherings at their farm in Tennessee and at Horse Thief Hollow Ranch in Austin, which he frequented at every chance he had.

Joe is survived by his sister, Mary Nichol; children John H. and wife, Linda, of California, Tom L. and wife, Candace, of California, Mary Jo Beckman and husband, Robert, of Virginia, and Frank W. (Pancho) and wife, Jane, of Texas; sixteen grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife of sixty-one years, sister, Martha, of Tennessee, and brother, Tom, of Nevada.

Joe W. Neal left a legacy of family, friends, and associates. He mentored many entering careers in international education or seeking educational opportunities, offering assistance to open doors on their behalf. He was a tall Texan; he will be sorely missed.


William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Larry D. Browning (chair), Madeline Maxwell, and Richard Cherwitz.