Neal Jones, a 2003 graduate of Campbell, is one of the initial donors to the University’s recently launched Native American Leadership Program, which begins in July with the first cohort of students.
“I feel strongly about the American Indian people in our community and see the new program as an opportunity to strengthen leadership in all tribes,” Jones said, adding he also strongly believes in what Campbell is doing to help.
Dr. Al Bryant, dean of Campbell’s School of Education & Human Sciences called Jones a “perfect example of a person who is compelled to put their beliefs in action.”
“He gives to others, especially his American Indian community, while asking nothing in return.”
Originally from Robeson County and a member of the Lumbee tribe, Jones served in the military as a paratrooper in the Vietnam era, received his applied science and business education at Campbell and spent 35 years with Carolina Power and Light/Progress Energy as a civil engineering project manager. In his current retirement, owns a real estate company and an auto sales business in Dunn.
Being a servant leader, Jones spends his time involved with family and the Coharie American Indian community in Dunn, where he resides.
“I have always been part of the Indian culture — we give back to each other — it’s a way of being Indian,” he said.
From the weekly luncheon for tribal elders and members, planting and maintaining the community garden, transporting members on regular field trips and anything else that needs doing at the Harnett Coharie Community Center, Jones is a part of it.
Peter Donlon, director of planned giving at Campbell, said, “It has been wonderful to get to know Neal and members of the Lumbee and Coharie American Indian tribes in Pembroke, Clinton and Dunn. He exemplifies the kindness, generosity and spirit of the American Indian culture. We are grateful for him and his support and participation in the new program.”