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John Neal to Receive Delta College 2019 Spirit of MLK Award

John NealJanuary 4, 2019

Delta College Admissions Advisor, John Neal, is the 2019 recipient of the College’s Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Award.

The annual award is given to a Delta College employee whose service to the institution and community exemplifies the spirit of Dr. King’s work and values. Recipients of the award are chosen by the Delta College Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA).

Neal received the prestigious award at the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March and Luncheon on Monday, January 21 at The Dow Event Center, 303 Johnson St. in Saginaw. The Saginaw Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in partnership with Delta’s BFSA annually hosts the event.

Neal began working at Delta College in 2006 as a part-time health and wellness instructor. Since then he has held several positions at the College, including multicultural advisor. Additionally, he has been a key member of several special projects undertaken by Delta such as the Men of Delta Mentoring program and the Second Chance Prison Pell program.

“At Delta, we all have the capacity to do great things because we all can serve,” said Neal. “I get to assist in the professional, financial and personal development of students who look to Delta for a quality education. At the end of the day, it’s all about the students.”   

Originally from Louisiana, Neal earned his bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from Southern University and his master’s in Kinesiology from Louisiana State University. He is a doctoral candidate, having recently completed the Community College Leadership program at Ferris State University. He is also a member of the Ezekiel Project’s Criminal Justice & Reform Taskforce.

“To receive an award named after a man who personifies peace, strength, determination and humility is a great honor. I am humbled to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. King,” said Neal. “Dr. King has encouraged millions to stand for justice and equality, brought hope to men and women of all backgrounds and sacrificed his very life for the wellbeing of others.”

Neal is married to Tangie Neal and they have three children, Angel, John III and James.

“John Neal is a beacon of light for all who come into contact with him,” said Carlos McMath, President of the BFSA. “Like Dr. King, Mr. Neal is a man of faith, built on grace and servitude. Mr. Neal’s passion for life and his ability to collaborate with everyone by focusing on their character and ambitions, no matter their background or life choices, is why he is the 2019 recipient of the College’s Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Award.”

The events on January 21 began with a Unity March at 10am at the intersection of Franklin Street and Hayden Street in Saginaw. Participants marched on Franklin Street to The Dow Event Center, concluding at around 10:30am.

The Unity Luncheon began at 11am. The keynote speaker for the luncheon was the Brother Isaiah Oliver, president and CEO of the Community Foundation Greater Flint. The theme for this year's celebration was "Vision 2019: Keeping the Dream Alive."

Past Delta College BFSA MLK Spirit Award Recipients

2018 - Veronica Bond
2017 - Monica Hernandez-Alaniz
2016 - Rosemary Reeves
2015 - Dr. Linda Holoman
2014 - Dr. Charissa Urbano
2013 - Carl Ruth
2012 - Beverly Westbrook
2011 - Mary Beth Looby
2010 - Dr. Jean Goodnow
2009 - William E. Ketchum, Jr.
2008 - Teresa Stitt
2007 - Katrina Nichols
2006 - Joan Sabourin
2005 - Jack Crowell
2004 - Neville Britto
2003 - John Pugh
2002 - Willie Thompson
2001 -  Dr. Betty Jones

For additional information, contact Smallwood Holoman at 989-631-7679 or George Adams at 989-797-4096.