Virgil Miles Beckett
4/14/1920 - 12/11/2006

Virgil Miles Beckett, long-time registrar at Harding University, died December 11, 2006, in Searcy, Arkansas.  Born on Beckett Mountain, near Mt. Vernon, Arkansas, on April 14, 1920, he was a son of Miles Wilson Beckett and Mattie Pearl (Salter) Beckett.


Mr. Beckett graduated from Conway High School in 1938 and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939.  In 1940, he volunteered for military service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, now the U.S. Air force.  His service during WWII was in the European Theater, 8th Army Air Corps, 56th Fighter Squadron.  He was honorably discharged in 1945.  In September 1946, he enrolled in Draughn’s School of Business where he received an Associate of Arts degree in accounting.  He married Wanice Garner in 1948, a union that has lasted until the present.  Following graduation, he worked for U.S.F. & G. Insurance Company, from 1948-1950, when he was recalled for military service.  He served one year in the Korean conflict.  After this period of service, he returned to U.S.F. & G. until 1954.


He then enrolled in Florida Christian College-- now Florida College--in Tampa, Florida.  He transferred to Harding College in 1956 and graduated in 1958 with a B.A. degree in Biblical Languages.  He became Registrar of Harding College in 1958, a position he held until retirement in 1988.  He was inducted into Alpha Chi Arkansas Eta, Chapter 41, an honorary scholarship society in his Junior year.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude.  Harding University honored him in 1977 with the Distinguished Service Award for his work in converting to the computer system.  He served as co-chairman of the Computer Committee, Harding first university in the state to go online with registration. 


He interrupted his retirement and served York College, York, Nebraska, as interim Registrar for the 1999-2000 academic years.  He was honored by the state of Nebraska with the Operation ABLE (Ability Based on Long Experience) Senior Achievement Award for his service.


He was a member of Harding’s Executive Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Admissions Committee, Scholarship Committee, and the Student Affair’s Committee.  He was past president of ArkACRAO.  He was an active member of the College Church of Christ for fifty years, with a five-year hiatus, caused by moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was an active member of the Pikes Peak Church of Christ.


He was preceded in death by two brothers, Earl P. Beckett of Warner Robbin, Georgia; Paul S. Beckett of Los Angeles, California; and two sisters, Tura Beckett Neal and Bronnie Beckett Stone, both of Memphis, Tennessee.


He is survived by his wife Wanice, several nieces, nephews, and cousins. 


Memorials may be made to the Virgil and Wanice Beckett Scholarship Fund of Harding University, Advancement Office, Box 12238, Searcy, AR 72149-0001; York College, 1125 E. 8th St., York, Nebraska; Rochester College, 800 West Avon Rd., Rochester Hills, Michigan.


A memorial service is planned for Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at the College Church of Christ, 712 E. Race St. Searcy, AR.