In Memoriam: Neville E. O’Reilly
Dr. Neville E. O’Reilly, a beloved husband, educator, and mentor, passed away on September 22, 2021, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Neville was born in Durban, South Africa where he obtained his undergraduate degree first in legal studies and then a second undergraduate degree in applied mathematics in which he excelled. Upon graduation, he became a practicing attorney and engaged in defending a prominent anti-apartheid activist, which did not make Neville popular with the existing government. Following this case, Neville’s parents encouraged him to leave South Africa to pursue his passion for mathematics and statistics. He won a full scholarship from Columbia University where he obtained his PhD in Mathematical Statistics and Probability under the supervision of the prominent statistician Herbert Ellis Robbins. Upon completing his degree, Neville joined the faculty of the Department of Statistics at Rutgers before moving to the business world where he held senior positions at AT&T, Netspeak, Dialect Solutions and Equitrac in finance, strategic planning, business operations as well as in product development, management, and marketing.
After a long career in business working on several continents, Neville came back to Rutgers in 2012 to become the Associate Director of the newly launched MS degree program in Financial Statistics and Risk Management (FSRM), one of two professional programs that he would help build in the Department of Statistics. The FSRM program was a unique offering at the time and Neville played a vital role in its development and success. He again played a vital role in 2016 when the MS degree program in Data Science was launched, for which he also served as Associate Director.
Neville was an inspiring and beloved educator and mentor. He enjoyed teaching and was an avid mentor and career adviser to his students given his vast industry experience. Going above and beyond to help students was one of his trademarks. One of Neville’s greatest pleasures was seeing his students succeed.