In a special kind of symmetry for UCLA’s centennial year, Professor John McNeil turns 100 in the same year as the university.
McNeil celebrates his birthday today. He was born on Oct. 29, 1919, the same year that classes began at the original UCLA campus on Vermont Avenue.
Although McNeil retired before most of UCLA's current freshmen were born, the professor emeritus of education still comes to campus every day, completing research, writing books, and co-teaching classes for undergrads on international development and creating businesses that support social good around the globe. His decades of contributions to the field of education were recognized in recent weeks, with a proclamation from the Los Angeles City Council on Oct. 18 and a commendation from Rep. Ted Lieu.
The World War II veteran, who fought in Normandy on D-Day, first came to UCLA in 1956 to lead the teacher education program. His books continue to be reprinted in multiple languages, with new editions coming out as recently as 2014. His great-grandson is a UCLA undergraduate.
To learn more about McNeil, see this video and story celebrating his first 99 years.