| 11/14/2009 09:36 AM
(AUGUSTA, GA) -The Paine College Georgia Association of Educators Student Program (GAESP) will present Judge Olly Neal as keynote speaker for the assembly program on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in the Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel. The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. The theme for the week is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility”.
Neal has an interesting connection to Paine College. His love for reading moved him to steal Frank Yerby books from his high school library. Yerby is a 1937 graduate of Paine College. Excerpt from A Librarian Mystery: The Judge who stole Frank Yerby “Neal had no idea when he read Yerby that he was reading the first African-American to write an American bestseller, the first to sell a book to the movies, and an author whose sales would reach 55 million.”
Click the link to listen to the NPR “Story Corps” Interview with Neal.
About Judge Olly Neal
Neal was born in the New Hope Community of Lee County on a small family farm. He attended Black Lee County Public Schools. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from LeMoyne-Owen College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.
A Vietnam Veteran, he served in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of Specialist Five (E-5). Neal worked for the U.S. postal Service; the Glidden Company as a paint chemist; and with St. Jude/MAP-South Supplemental Feeding Program as supervisor. In 1969-1970 he helped organize and became the first Administrator CEO of Lee County Cooperative Clinic, a patient controlled community health center. While in that position, he also assisted 15 low-income rural communities in building safe water and wastewater facilities.
He has also served as member and chairman of the Lee County School District, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, National Demonstration Water Project, and Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation. He served on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Judicial Council and was awarded the Council's Community Service Award in 2003.
After graduating from law school in 1979, Neal practiced law in Marianna, Ark. until 1991, when he became Arkansas’ only African-American (District) Prosecuting Attorney. He went on to be elected Circuit Judge in his First Judicial District. In 1996, he began an appointed term on the Arkansas Court of Appeals and was subsequently elected to a position on that court where he served until his retirement on January 1, 2007.
Neal is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, W. Harold Flowers Law Society, and the Arkansas Bar Association. He is also a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Arkansas Land & Farm Development Corporation, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations.
Paine College is a church-related, four-year private institution. The mission of Paine College is to provide a liberal arts education of the highest quality that emphasizes academic excellence, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility, and personal development to prepare men and women for positions of leadership and service in the African American community, the nation, and the world. Paine College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate degrees and functions partly by the generous support of The United Methodist Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the United Negro College Fund. For additional information visit www.paine.edu.