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Memorial

Homer A. Neal
Regents' Proceedings 501

Provost Philbert said, "It is with appreciation and gratitude that I recognize Homer Neal's many contributions to physics, science education and advocacy, and higher education. His deep commitment to teaching, mentoring and diversity will bring benefits to society far into the future. As a scholar and leader, Dr. Neal strengthened the University and contributed much to the common good. We shall miss him greatly."

The Regents of the University of Michigan acknowledge with profound sadness the death of Homer A. Neal, Ph.D., interim president emeritus, vice president emeritus for research, Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished University Professor of Physics, and professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Professor Neal died on May 23, 2018.

Professor Neal received his B.A. (1961) degree from Indiana University and his M.S. (1963) and Ph.D. (1966) degrees from the University of Michigan. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as a professor and chair of the Department of Physics in 1987. He served as the vice president for research (1993-97), interim president (1996 -97), and director of the UM ATLAS Collaboratory Project (1997-20 16).

Professor Neal had a long, distinguished career as a world-leading expert in the studies of particle spins and polarizations. He played important roles in the discoveries of the two fundamental particles in the last quarter century: the top quark in 1995 and the Higgs boson in 2012. Joining the DZero experiment when he returned to Michigan as the chair of the physics department, he participated in the discovery of the top quark discovery and observed the Bb and Qb baryons. Professor Neal led Michigan faculty to join the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, making critical contributions to the discovery of the Higgs boson. While serving on the National Science Board, he played a pivotal role in the establishment of the popular and effective Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the U.S.

Through the work of his long and illustrious career, Professor Neal did more than research: he shaped the very field of physics. His innovations opened the door for other scientists to make crucial discoveries; his teaching and leadership inspired countless students and faculty; and his tremendous leadership shaped the University of Michigan and many other institutions. It would be difficult to overstate the lasting positive influence of Professor Neal on the world.

As we mourn the loss of our beloved colleague, we also extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Jean, and his many loving relatives and friends. The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar by posthumously naming Homer A. Neal, interim president emeritus, vice president emeritus for research,