Excelsior University Alumnus to Be Inducted into U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame

Retired Army Brigadier General Jerry Neff will be awarded the national honor at Fort Moore ceremony on May 6, 2024

ALBANY, N.Y.  – Excelsior University is proud to announce that alumnus and chair emeritus Army Brigadier General Jerry L. Neff, Ret., will be inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame on May 6, 2024, at the 2024 OCS Reunion held at Fort Moore in Columbus, Georgia.

The OCS Hall of Fame was established in 1958 to honor graduates who have distinguished themselves through valorous combat leadership or superior service. The Hall of Fame is a U.S. Army program sponsored by the OCS Alumni Association, a not-for-profit veterans service organization. Awardees are drawn from OCS graduates nationwide and must be nominated to be considered for induction.  

Neff joined the Illinois National Guard in 1960 at the age of 18, transferring to the Florida National Guard and graduating from the Florida OCS in 1964. While working his way up in the military, Neff pursued a banking career in the Sarasota area. With the goal of advancing to the military rank of brigadier general, he completed his bachelor’s degree with Excelsior University (then Regents College) in 1987. Excelsior’s evaluation of prior military experience and training for college credit enabled Neff to earn his degree.  

Earning his bachelor’s degree opened the door for Neff to attend the U.S. Army College and achieve his military and professional ambitions. He retired from the Guard in 1999 as the deputy commanding general, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Orlando, Florida. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Florida Cross, the highest award given to a member of the Florida Army National Guard for outstanding service to the citizens of the state. Equally successful in his civilian profession, Neff served as president of several Florida banks over the course of his distinguished 47-year banking career, retiring as the regional president of M&I Bank. 

“I’m proud to be inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame. I see this honor as a recognition of what I’ve accomplished not only in my military service, but in my service to the community,” said Neff. “Much of that service has been focused on assisting soldiers in the transition from military to civilian employment, something that my education and association with Excelsior University helped instill in me. Excelsior set me up for success in the military and in my civilian job, as I became president of a bank a year after graduating. I don’t think any of that would have happened without the opportunity to earn my bachelor’s degree at Excelsior.” 

Serving on the Excelsior University board of trustees for nine years, Neff continues to advocate for Excelsior’s mission to serve adult students historically underrepresented in higher education. Appointed by the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives to the board of Veterans Florida, Neff works to help veterans start businesses and transfer skills learned in the military to civilian employment. He also recently joined the board of the Sarasota Military Academy, serving students in the junior ROTC. 

“Jerry Neff is an exemplar of excellence in military leadership and of the heights that military students can achieve at Excelsior University,” said Excelsior University president David Schejbal. “Serving service members is at the heart of Excelsior University. Nearly 50% of our learners are active-duty military students and veterans. Excelsior’s online model and evaluation of military training for college credit is designed to help adult students accomplish career and service goals quickly and affordably. Excelsior is honored to be an important part of Jerry Neff’s journey, and we congratulate him on his OCS Hall of Fame induction.”

For more information on Excelsior University, visit www.excelsior.edu  

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Media Contact Excelsior University:
Jason Bonafide, jbonafide@excelsior.edu, 518-608-8446

Excelsior University is an accredited, not-for-profit online institution focused on helping adults complete their degrees and advance their careers. Excelsior contributes to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1971, Excelsior meets students where they are — academically and geographically — removing obstacles to the educational goals of adults pursuing continuing education and degree completion. Our pillars include innovation, flexibility, academic excellence, and integrity.