Neil E. Beckwith earned his B.S. in Engineering Sciences from Purdue University. His first job was at Bendix Corporation in Mishawaka, where he worked on the Talos missile system. He subsequently earned a Masters in Business from Michigan State and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, where he studied under Frank M. Bass. Professor Frank Bass had a profound effect on his future path in life. His thesis and subsequent research is regarded as a seminal body of work on statistical methods in Marketing. Once he had earned his doctorate, he joined the business school faculty at Columbia University. While at Columbia, Neil served as a consultant with the Federal Trade Commission Office of Policy Planning and Evaluation, where he was instrumental in changing regulations regarding comparative advertising.
His next position was as a faculty member at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, which he held until he was recruited to become the Vice President of Marketing for ARA Services (now Aramark) a national diversified service company headquartered in Philadelphia. Neil suffered a heart attack at age 45 and approached cardiac rehabilitation with his typical intensity, walking 25,000 miles in 3 years. Following this, he rejoined the work force as Vice President of Marketing at Deluxe Check Corporation.
After his time in Minnesota, he returned to South Bend and academics, becoming a member of the University of Notre Dame Business School faculty until his retirement. An avid cyclist and amateur astronomer, Neil eagerly looked forward to his annual winter trip to Florida, where he would ride his bicycle during the day and spend the evening gazing at the heavens. He died in March 2012.