His Walk

Thirty years later, as she finished his walk, June Booth (P ’86) remembered her son with every step.
Summer 2016

It has been nearly 30 years since June’s son, Neal Chastain (’86), died of complications with leukemia. Thirty years since the young man with the quick wit, business mind, and compassionate heart was gone; 30 years since his mother missed the ceremony where his friends walked across the stage to receive their diplomas; 30 years since his family’s dream of the first college degree was stunted.

“When we lost Neal, we lost the dreams that we had for him."

In all that time, June has never forgotten her son’s love for Wake Forest. She faithfully visits campus at least once a year to meet the senior student who has received the Neal Monroe Chastain Memorial Scholarship and follows the 28 Chastain scholars’ success in the class notes section of the Wake Forest magazine.

And in all that time, June has never let Wake Forest forget about her son. She tells each scholarship recipient about Neal, celebrates good news about the University, and has made friends of her own at Wake Forest.

For years, June has walked through life carrying Neal’s unfinished business in the recesses of her mind. On Commencement morning, she walked to receive her son’s Wake Forest diploma – the diploma he wanted so badly.

As she finished Neal’s walk on Commencement morning, June did so with a strange mix of joy and sadness, but she also remembered her son with every step.

“Wake Forest is completing Neal’s dream. I couldn’t be happier.”


To read more visit https://wakewill.wfu.edu/chastain-story