June 19, 2009

Vanderbilt mourns loss of long-time supporter Craig

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Cornelius Abernathy “Neil” Craig II

Vanderbilt mourns loss of long-time supporter Craig

Cornelius Abernathy “Neil” Craig II, a long-time supporter of Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, died at his home on June 9. He was 80.

Mr. Craig had a great love and respect of the medical profession, and in 1992 he established the Deborah and C.A. Craig II Medical Scholarship Fund at Vanderbilt University. Dozens of students at the School of Medicine benefitted from this scholarship fund over the years. Mr. Craig also served on the board of the Canby Robinson Society in the 1990s.

“Great institutions are made great by the individuals who are drawn to their mission,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Neil Craig lived a life that mattered. He touched so many and we are grateful that he saw in our mission a way to make a difference. On behalf of the generations of physicians who will learn to be Vanderbilt doctors through his generosity, we owe Neil Craig our deepest gratitude.”

Mr. Craig, a Nashville native and 1951 graduate of Vanderbilt, was a successful businessman in the life insurance industry. He served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of National Life and Accident Insurance Co. and National Property Owners Insurance Co. A talented writer and presenter, he also served as chairman of NLT Marketing Services Corp.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Wallace Craig; sisters, Elizabeth Craig Weaver Proctor and Margaret Ann Craig Robinson; numerous loved nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends.