Alumni Spotlight: Neil West ’62

Neil West ’62

Neil West is a native of Bowman, ND and graduated from New Rockford High School. UND runs through Neil’s blood. His older brother, including nieces, nephews, and cousins, also graduated from UND. Majoring in chemistry and biology with a minor in mathematics, Neil began his freshman year in the fall of 1958. Neil lived in Sayre Hall with fellow future DUs Doug McCleod ‘63, 

Arlan Norman ‘62, Ron Tvedt ‘63 along with some residents of Bek Hall. At the time of the chapter’s installation, Neil was serving as chapter president. Neil recalls winning their first fraternity sing in the Spring of 1962 and, as a reward for being the director, was gracefully tossed into the English Coulee. Outside of DU, Neil was involved in the Blue Key Honor Society, was a summer exchange student to Turkey, and, like many of his fellow DU brothers, a Varsity Bard.

Later graduating in 1962, Neil began a two-year medical degree program at UND which led him to transfer to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX to finish his medical degree. The Vietnam war was going on and Neil and his fellow medical intern class went to Vietnam. Neil served in the Navy on troop transport.

After a residency in pediatrics, Neil started his medical practice in Corvallis, Oregon. About twenty years into practicing Neil switched to management and the data side of medicine. The later years of his career were spent in predictive modeling and understanding social determinants of health that affect patients and outcomes. Eventually he and his family found their way to Tucson, Arizona where they reside now.

When asked what advice he would give to his fellow DU brothers he quoted Yogi Berra – ”when you come to a fork in the road, take it.”