Neil Eugene Bolyard, 89, of Morgantown, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at Harmony in Morgantown. He was born August 30, 1932 in Fellowsville, Preston County, the son of the late Cecil Bolyard and Chloe Shahan Bolyard. He graduated from Morgantown High School and West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in counseling. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown where he served as an elder, deacon, choir member and usher.
Neil has had a distinguished career in education, as a teacher at Suncrest-Flatts Junior High School, as a cartographer for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, as a scholarship and veterans coordinator at West Virginia University. and as director of student financial aid from 1969. -1997. He had two temporary leaves from WVU, the first as deputy director of the Basic Grants training project (later named PellGrants) in Washington, DC. period of four months in 1974. The second leave took place in 1987-88. He was responsible for the administration of the Student Loan Guaranty Agency for the State of West Virginia. He was chairman of the Higher Education Loan Program and vice chairman of the Higher Education Assistance Foundation with offices in Charleston.
Upon his return from Charleston in 1988, he was one of three people responsible for developing the Scholars program at WVU. After his retirement in 1997, he became a consultant for financial aid services in Atlanta with assignments from New York to California and from Pennsylvania to Georgia. He also worked with American Education Services in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He then returned to WVU part-time as the Assistant Director of Admissions and Records with responsibility for establishing the academic eligibility of all NCAA athletes to WVU.
He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa (honorary education) and served as section president. He was also a member of Kappa Delta Pi (honorary education) and Sigma Nu (social fraternity). He was a former member of the Morgantown Jaycees and the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks # 411. He was a life member of the Post 2 American Legion, where he served as the commander and life member of the VFW, Post 14000. He was a member of the Joseph W. Summers Lodge # 173 of Old, Free and Accepted Masons, the Rotary Club of Cheat Lake, the Mountaineer Athletic Club and the Morgantown Touchdown Club. Professional memberships included the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (president 1977-78), the Midwest ASFAA, and the West Virginia ASFAA, where he also served as president. He was a member of the Society for Advancement of Financial Aid Management in Higher Education and served as Chairman of the Board. Neil has served on numerous national, regional and state advisory committees. Organizations included the College Entrance Examination Board, the College Scholarship Service, the American College Testing Program, the West Virginia State Grant Programs, the US Office of Education, the Cabot Corporation Scholarship Program, the Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae) and the WV Education Loan Program.
He was also director of the American Council of Education. He was a founding member of the WVU Student Affairs Hall of Fame. He was a life member of national, regional and state associations. This is the highest honor awarded by the national group. Neil was one of six people to receive this recognition in the first 36 years of NASFAA history.
He has received Distinguished Service Awards from national, regional and state professional groups. He was named Distinguished West Virginian by Governor Arch Moore in 1971. Governor Hulett Smith presented Neil with the West Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs Meritorious Service Award in 1965. Neil served in the 43rd Battalion. Armored Infantry of the United States Army, 2nd Armored Division in the 1950s.
Neil has also volunteered with several organizations including the Mountaineer Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Monongalia County 4-H (Horse and Pony Club), Monongalia County Riding for the Handicapped, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels and the ‘American Legion. State of the climber’s boys. He served the Dominion Post Honor Boy-Honor Girl program as a judge or coordinator of judges from 1967 to 1992.
Neil enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 state capitals. He has also traveled to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. He was an avid mountaineer, rarely missed football or basketball games, and attended most bowl games from 1969 onwards. He was named the Most Loyal Mountaineer during Mountaineer Week in 2002. Neil also received the David W. Jacobs Lifetime Service Award in 2018..
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Jerrie Wick Bolyard in 1991; two sisters, Dortha Bolyard Harshberger and Evelyn Bolyard Hatmaker; and one brother, Glenn Earl Bolyard. He is survived by his daughter Lisa Ann Hassen and her husband Thomas; one granddaughter, Lauryl Elizabeth Hassen and her partner Jacob Keener; a grandson, Patrick Neil Hassen; and two grandchildren, Kayden Jacob Kenner and Jaxon Thomas Keener, all of Morgantown. He is also survived by a longtime companion, Irene Liberatore, of Morgantown, and many members of Irene’s family.
Visitations will be held at Dering-Henson Funeral Home, 156 Foundry St., Morgantown, from 11 a.m. until noon memorial service on Thursday, October 21, with Pastor Rich Schimansky as officiant. Interment to follow in the Beverly Hills Memorial Gardens, Westover.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the WVU Foundation, 1 Waterfront Place, 7th Floor, Morgantown, WV 26501, in support of the Financial Aid Office or WVU Athletics as well as the Alzheimer’s Association, 1601 2nd Ave. , Charleston, WV 25387.
Care services are provided by Dering-Henson Funeral Home.