Dr. Nell Bailey, First Woman to Serve as VP at Marshall University, Dies at 84

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | December 28, 2018
Dr. Nell Bailey, formerly of Huntington, West Virginia, died peacefully at the Shenandoah Health and Rehab Center on December 22, 2018 as a result of a catastrophic fall in 2013.
 
She was born on January 18, 1934 in Salem, West Virginia, daughter of the late Dallas Barnett Bailey and Pearl Ritter Bailey. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Dr. Dallas B. Bailey. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Ann Bailey of Lexington, Virginia; nephews Kenneth B. Bailey (Miriam) of Houston, Texas, and Jeffery K. Bailey (Valerie Johnson) of Lexington, Virginia; great-nieces Madeline and Faith Bailey of Houston, Texas; and great-nephews Nathan and Wesley Bailey of Lexington, Virginia.
 
Dr. Bailey earned a bachelors degree in education from the former Salem College in 1956. After graduation, she went on to earn her masters degree in education from Kent State University and her doctorate from Indiana University. She served in administrative and teaching positions at Salem College, Kent State University, Indiana University, Bethany College, and Illinois State University.
 
Dr. Bailey became the first woman to be appointed vice president at Marshall University when she was named Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs in 1984. In 1992, she left that position to return to teaching. While she taught courses, she also served as a special assistant to the university's president, as well as the Dean of the Center for Adult and Extended Education. During her professional career in higher education, she received many awards and had responsibilities in national organizations such as the American Council on Education and the national Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
 
While at Marshall University, Dr. Bailey was active in the community. She was a member of the Board of Directors for both the Barnett Childcare Center and Habitat for Humanity. She was a volunteer for the United Way and served on several Citizen's Review Panels. She also served on the Board of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. She was president of the Campus Christian Center Board and an active member of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir, served on the Mission and Witness Commission, and was active in Dynamic Adults. Bailey also took a leadership role in various activities designed to improve race relations throughout the community.
 
“Dr. Bailey's service to Marshall University and higher education in general has been exemplary,” said former Marshall University President, J. Wade Gilley. “She undertook many important tasks and worked diligently to serve university students, faculty, and staff. She certainly left her mark on Marshall University and we are better off for having known her.”
 
When the Marshall University School of Medicine was opened, Dr. Bailey donated her body to the Human Gift Registry of West Virginia for the advancement of medical education and research.
 
The family would like to extend a special appreciation to the staff of the Shenandoah Health and Rehab Center in Buena Vista and the Rockbridge Area Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Rockbridge Area Hospice at 315 Myers St. Lexington, VA 24450, or to the charity of your choice.
 
The family wishes to gratefully acknowledge the loving care provided Nell by the staff of the Shenandoah Health and Rehab Center, formerly Golden Living Center, where she lived for the last five years of her life. She also received loyal support from her Huntington church, Fifth Avenue Baptist, and from Trinity UMC in Lexington.

A memorial service will be held at the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in Huntington, West Virginia at a later date.

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