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Dr. N. L. (Neal) Gault, a former dean of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, was an award-winning fundraiser for the school long after he retired.

Gault, who was also a leader in international medical education programs, died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 11 at his home in Roseville. He was 88.

As leader of the Medical School from 1972 to 1984, "he inspired countless classmates, colleagues and students" and "advocated tirelessly for medical students" said Dr. Deborah Powell, the school's dean.

Gault grew up in Austin, Texas. During World War II, he served in hospital administration with the Air Force. After the war, he began medical school in Texas and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1950.

As an internist, he worked briefly at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. Then he became a part-time Medical School administrator and university hospital physician.

For the Medical School, he moved to South Korea, where he helped to rebuild the medical education system at Seoul National University, initiating international education programs.

From 1967 to 1972, he worked for the University of Hawaii's medical school, for which he established a residency and internship program in Okinawa, said his son Paul of Canton, Ohio.

"He made a major shift in medical care" in Okinawa and other islands, said his son.

In the Twin Cities, he served as honorary counsel to Japan, and established medical exchange student programs with that nation and others.

Dr. William Kennedy, of the Department of Neurology, said that as dean, Gault kept the school on an "even keel."

He was an accomplished fundraiser, and when students struggled, he would help them out personally, colleagues said.

A once-needy student who benefited from his personal generosity and who is now a surgeon in California came to Minnesota to visit Gault a few months ago, after hearing that he was ill.

From 1959 to 1992, Gault served on the Minnesota Medical Foundation board of trustees and, for nearly 20 years, the Medical Alumni Society Board.

His wife, Dr. Sarah Gault, who once was a physician at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, died in 1994.

In addition to his son Paul, he is survived by another son, John of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a daughter, Elizabeth Harrison of Dayton, Ohio; four grandchildren and a great-grandchild, and close friend Britt-Marie Nyman of Upsala, Sweden.

A service will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 16 at Mayo Memorial Auditorium, 425 Delaware St. SE., Minneapolis.