Jeff A. Nelson

Jeff A. Nelson memorial

Join us in honoring and celebrating the life and legacy of Jeff A. Nelson by sharing a personal message or remembrance.


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Condolences and memories

We’re very saddened for Jeff’s family and our campus community. Though some of us worked with Jeff only a short time, during his months as our president he re-energized our campus and heightened our aspirations. We remain committed to the vision we've formed together in recent months, and will continue to move us forward to honor the impact Jeff made in his time with Northwestern.

Kent Erickson, DC, chair of the Board of Trustees


I had the distinct pleasure of working with Mr. Jeff A. Nelson on his Senior Leadership team in the US Virgin Islands and more recently, at NwHSU in Minnesota. Over the years, I have grown to know him as a humble, compassionate person that wanted to empower people to build on their strengths. He gave us the opportunities to live, learn and have fun along the way.

While we grieve the loss of Mr. Nelson, let's choose to reflect on the many lessons, gifts and experiences that he left with us. I feel that I am a better person because of his teaching, support, guidance and friendship. I will forever be grateful to his family for sharing him with me and to him for being my mentor and friend.

Using his two favorite words..."Thank You, Mr. Nelson."

Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel, team member and friend


To the Family,

Words are hard to find that fully express our feelings at this tragic loss. As many others would have said he talked frequently and with much pride about his family. We could all tell by his smile that he was saying THANK YOU to each and everyone of you in his heart. Take Care and God Bless.

Zach Zachman, DC, professor


I had a brief meeting with the President and I remember he motivated me to better understand chiropractic and why I was in school. He seemed genuinely interested in adding value to me as a student and looked out for the well being of all students on campus.

Josh Castillo, chiropractic student


In only six months, I saw many people come together under Jeff Nelson's presidency in a variety of ways. Administration, staff, faculty, students, alumni, and the Board of Trustees joined in conversation with ideas to move the university forward. These ideas were often communicated across departments and engaged many to expand their strengths for future implementation of successful programs, research, patient care and education.

On a personal note, I worked with Jeff on a variety of committees, and commonly engaged with him in informal and formal discussions regarding the university and life. I was as likely to be engaged by him in the hallway or the parking lot, as I was in a meeting. He was a very visible president and would talk about anything I brought up. I often saw him eating his lunch in the cafeteria talking to everyone and anyone. I will miss his "audacious presence" and will be forever grateful for the lessons he has taught me about being willing to grow beyond my comfort zone.

I wish him, his family, and our community peace as we move forward.

Pat Casello-Maddox, assistant professor, faculty clinician, and faculty senate president


Thank you Jeff for…
- Sharing your ambitious and exciting vision for NwHSU
- Creating opportunities for engagement of the entire campus community
- Demonstrating compassion, kindness and humility
- Mentoring us in new ideas, approaches and perspectives
- Emphasizing quality, professionalism and FUN! in all that we do
- Expanding our thinking and our horizons

Northwestern is a better place because of you. We will miss you and your energy.

Roni Evans, professor, research division


How lucky we are to have Jeff part of our campus community by leading, listening, and empowering us. His gift and legacy will live on and on. We will 'help people live healthier lives' and I know he believed his words and showed them in his actions. Jeff's truthfulness inspired many of us.

Jeff taught me so much in just 5.5 months - how to tell stories, embrace my strengths, and lead with actions. Our 7 AM and 6 PM daily reflections will be filled differently now. I will miss him tremendously.

Christina Frazier, chief of staff to the president and CEO at NwHSU


Jeff had a wonderful gift of appreciating everyone's intrinsic talents, strengths and imaginations. He realized the power of differing perspectives and inspired us collectively to move toward greatness. He always spoke of Julie and the kids when reflecting on what was most important to him. He will be greatly remembered...and missed.

Diana Berg, director of Continuing Education


I'm Ron Koep. I work as a housekeeper at Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley, Washington. I'm sure you realize what a special person Jeff Nelson was and I would like to add to this. Like I said I'm a housekeeper. One morning I saw Jeff hurrying to a meeting and I asked him when he had a moment I would like to ask him something. I told him it wasn't important. He stopped and told me if it was important to me, it was important to him. Long story short, he donated money to the St. Mary's Catholic School auction. He will always be one of my favorite people. Even though I haven't seen him in years, he is missed very much.

Ron Koep, Valley Hospital, Spokane Valley, Washington


Jeff A. Nelson 1955-2013

Jeff A. Nelson
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