President’s Medal Recipients
Jerry L. Neff
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Jerry L. Neff is a former regional president and chairman of M&I Bank and a distinguished, retired member of the National Guard who has contributed decades of successful service to both his country and the banking industry.
Neff enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard at the age of 18, and his decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster). A member of the Florida National Guard Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, he was twice awarded the Florida Cross, the highest award given to a member of the Florida Army National Guard for outstanding service to its citizens. At the time of his retirement from the Guard in 1999, Neff was the deputy commanding general, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Orlando, Florida. During his concurrent 48 years in banking, he was named the Florida Bankers Association Banker of the Year in 2004.
In addition to his education at the Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College and the National Commercial Lending Graduate School, Neff graduated from Excelsior (then Regents) College with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies in 1987.
Neff was recently appointed to the board of directors for Veterans Florida, a nonprofit corporation created by the State of Florida to help veterans transition to civilian life. Committed to serving his local community, he has served as a board member of the South Florida Museum, as chair of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce as well as the vice chairman of the board of trustees of Blake Medical Center; chair of the Manatee Rural Health Clinic Foundation; and as president of the Military Officers Association of America, Bradenton Chapter. He has been a member of the Excelsior College Board of Trustees since 2011 and served as board chair from 2014 through 2017. He has also contributed to Excelsior’s community as chair of the College’s 40th Anniversary Committee.
Neff was the recipient of the Excelsior College Alumni Achievement Award in 2008, the U.S. Army War College Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2009, and the Southwest Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America’s Good Scout Citizen of the Year Award in 2014. He was also named Manatee County, Florida Veteran of the Year in 2014.
Jerry and his wife, Judy, live in Bradenton, Florida.
Excelsior College President’s Committee on Inclusion
The President’s Committee on Inclusion was founded in 2003 in recognition of the value of diversity in a learning community.
The committee has promoted diversity of all types in the College community and has assisted the president and leadership of the College in creating and maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment for our employees and students.
Throughout its history, the committee has developed, promoted, and implemented programs that enrich the working and learning environment for the members of the Excelsior College community by featuring educational opportunities to learn about and reflect, both individually and collectively, on contemporary issues around race, sex, religion, ethnicity, physical ability and condition, physical and mental health, and sexual and gender preference.