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California State University, Long Beach
Bookstore Services prepares to turn the page
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Bookstore Services prepares to turn the page

Post Date: August 15, 2012


Fred Neely (center) poses for one of many photos at his retirement party.

By Marlon D. Deleon, Communications Dept

In the last quarter century, one name has become synonymous with the University Bookstore at California State University, Long Beach—Fred Neely. In 1990 he was promoted to Director of Bookstore Services, but he hasn’t always been “Mr. Bookstore,” and he definitely hasn’t been selfish on his way there. Hired with the Forty-Niner Shops Inc. in January of 1986 as the Warehouse Manager, Fred was quickly promoted to Associate Director of Bookstore Operations later that same year in July. Acknowledging the importance of his role in this position, he began his involvement with the university community outside the Shops, participating in numerous task force and work group assignments with an array of departments and organizations (academic and not) throughout his tenure. He also served on CSULB’s 50th Anniversary Planning Committee and Staff Council Executive Committee (in addition to being a long-standing member), coordinated the Peach Tree Revitalization Campaign, and was elected as a Staff Representative to the Academic Senate. He has been integral in helping raise over $300,000 over the last four years, leading efforts in fundraising for the 49er Textbook Scholarship Endowment. These are only select highlights, though, because listing nearly three decades of his accomplishments alone could fill an aisle of textbooks, so it should be no surprise that he was recognized as CSULB’s Outstanding Staff Member of the Year at the Alumni Awards Banquet in 2004.

Off-campus, his resume is no less impressive, contributing to the CSU Association of Auxiliaries (Executive and Annual Conference Planning committees), NACS (serving on the Education/Research Foundation Board as a board member and, in 2007, as President), CAMEX (Chair, Los Angeles 2002), and various workshops, presentations, and educational sessions with AOA, CACS, LSG, NACS, and serving on multiple vendor advisory boards.

On one hand, the CSULB Bookstore is losing one of its greatest champions, but as Fred Neely retires from his eventful career with the Forty-Niner Shops, it is not without a great legacy that many students will continue to benefit from. His favorite causes are the 49er Textbook Scholarship Endowment, NACS Educational Foundation, and the CSULB Peach Tree Endowment, and he expresses the importance in continued contributions to them. In the future, student employees of the 49er Shops will have the opportunity to apply for an annual textbook scholarship that Don Penrod, 49er Shops CEO/GM, named in his honor—the most appropriate way to remember a man that should never be forgotten for his contributions to the university, students, campus community and the industry, epitomizing what it truly means to be a Partner in Education.