Following recent losses of two members of the board of trustees, colleagues and friends reflected on their leadership and service to the University.
Lundy Neely (’71), 73, died Dec. 21, 2021. A native of Vandalia, Ohio, he founded Crown Solutions, a water management company, in his hometown in 1984. He was a longtime member and elder at Cassel Hills Church of Christ. He served the board for 13 years as vice-chairman of the Advancement Committee and a member of Alumni & Parent Relations, Finance & Investment and Student Life committees.
Neely’s relationship with the University led to deep friendship with many. When asked to reflect on the character of a dear brother, these leaders saw a man of faith, vision and service.
“Lundy and I were dear friends for 55 years. Simply put, he was one of the finest men I have ever known. He had an intense dedication to his faith and a serious commitment to serving others. His wonderful wife, seven children and 22 grandchildren are a testament to the Christian man that he was. In his business life, he was a complete visionary and was able to see opportunities when no one else could. Lundy had an uncommon humility. He had a deep love for Harding and was very generous to the University and its students,” said Dr. Jim Carr, retired executive vice president.
“Lundy’s passing was such a shock to us all on the board of trustees. He was a beloved member, serving since May 2008 on multiple committees, and was always intimately engaged. He was eternally optimistic, a visionary who loved Jesus Christ, his church, his family and Harding University. His last function as a board member was reflected in his concern over Ohio Valley University closing and how we could help those students continue their Christian education. He was a model board member and will be sorely missed,” said Dr. Robert Walker, chairman of the board.
Neely is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth “Beth” Geer (’70); seven children, Brett (’96), Amy Stevens (’98), Rob (’99), Jon (’02), Matt (’02), Ben (’05) and Becky Woodward (’06); two siblings, Barbara Thomas (’67) and Jeff (’77); and 22 grandchildren.
Harry B. Risinger Jr. (’68), 75, of Collierville, Tennessee, died Jan. 31, 2022. He was a member of the board of trustees from 1985-2017, including one term as chairman. Growing up in Searcy, he attended both Harding Academy and Harding College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He earned an MBA from Memphis State University in 1974 and became a certified public accountant.
Enlisting in the Army after graduation, he served three years during the Vietnam War. Professionally, he was a successful leader in many roles at W.R. Grace and Co. and Seminole Fertilizer Corp. He then worked 16 years as a financial advisor, retiring as first vice president of Morgan Stanley’s Memphis branch.
Risinger also served as an elder at Millington Church of Christ for 25 years and as a member of the boards of Agape Child and Family Services, Truth for Today World Mission School, and Christian Chronicle.
President David Burks reflected on his relationship with Risinger. “I loved working with Harry Risinger Jr. as a member of the board of trustees. He served us in a beautiful fashion for 32 years, four of those years as chairman. Harry loved Harding and was a true leader. He raised very tough questions in board meetings and, as a consequence, made us better. We will miss his wonderful example.”
Risinger is survived by his wife of 51 years, Janice “Jan” Robinson (’69); two sons, Matt (’94) and Adam (’95); two sisters, Linda Stanley (’65) and Amanda Jones (’83); and four grandchildren.