John McNeill


It is with profound sadness that I inform the University community of the passing of Mr John McNeill.  John passed away yesterday afternoon in Port Elizabeth following a long illness.


John joined the University in 1987 as a member of the Department of Information Systems’ Human Resources Development Centre (HRDC).  This was followed by appointment to the academic staff in 1988 a position he held until his death.


His role in the Department was larger than life and countless colleagues and students will recall his raucous laughter, to the point contributions and unwavering commitment to the art and science of teaching and learning and the academic endeavour in general.  His time in the Department saw countless changes in curriculum, enhanced use of technology in teaching and learning and growth (enrolment and offerings) in the Department.  His contributions are found throughout the Department.


But John’s role was never intended to start and stop in the Department.  Shortly after his initial appointment to the University, he was appointed the Warden of Winchester House in Allan Webb Hall in 1988 and later Hall Warden in 1998 of the same Hall.  And thus began a long association with John and the residence system and, literally, thousands of students, who truly regarded Allan Webb Hall as home from home with the every-friendly, ever-guiding, ever-committed, John McNeill at the centre.


Few students and even fewer fellow wardens and hall wardens, will not have met, sought advice, interacted with and been influenced by

John over the many years he devoted to the residence system.  In much the same way his academic contributions are replete in the Department, so are his wardening contributions replete throughout the residence system.


John will be remembered for many things and in many ways by equally many people.  The stained-glass windows of Allan Webb Dining Hall, restored and so treasured under John’s watchful eye serve as an enduring memory of the interest in and meticulous care John took of the institution he truly regarded as home.


Our thoughts are with John’s sister, Janie, and her family.


A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held at the Rhodes Chapel on Saturday 6 April 2019 at 10h00.



Dave Sewry



Last Modified: Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:01:32 SAST