Neil Keeney Memorial Scholarship Established Through Foundation



Nov. 29, 2006 – A scholarship has been established at Southeast Missouri State University to honor the memory of Neil Keeney. 

Keeney’s brother and sister in-law, Dr. Ronald and Mary Ann (Valle) Keeney, donated $10,000 to endow the scholarship. 

The scholarship will be awarded to minority students from rural southeast Missouri counties who are working toward degrees granted by the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Health and Human Services or the Harrison College of Business.

Neil Keeney, a 1964 graduate of Southeast, majored in biology and was a member of the track team. Through his academics and athletics, Keeney developed a sense of hard work and dedication that would guide him throughout his life.

Keeney’s education led him to a successful career in chemistry research, which was highlighted by innovations in fire retardants in automobile upholstery fabrics. Dedicated to his career, Keeney worked tirelessly throughout his life to make upholstery fabrics safer for everyone.

Keeney died of cancer on July 2, 1998, at age 57.  Thanks to the efforts of his brother and sister in-law, his legacy will continue at Southeast through the Neil Keeney Memorial Scholarship.


A state-assisted institution, Southeast Missouri State University receives only a portion of its funding from state revenue, tuition and auxiliaries. The remainder is raised by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation in the form of private gifts by alumni and friends who believe in bringing students a high-quality education that ensures students experience success in our global society.

Since its founding in 1983, the University Foundation has worked diligently to raise and manage funds for the betterment of Southeast Missouri State University and its students.  The funds support scholarships, financial aid, faculty advancement, technological upgrades and facility improvements.

For more information on the Foundation and ways to support Southeast, visit