Darden alumni are powerhouses in the finance industry (each year, banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among the top hiring companies of new graduates) and powerhouses in the C-suite (more than 1,500 alumni serve as founders, board chairs or in the executive C-suite).
This past weekend, Darden honored a distinguished alumnus who has made a major mark from the C-suite, on the finance industry and on the School. During his 45th reunion celebration held on Darden Grounds, Michael O’Neill (MBA ’74) was honored with the Charles C. Abbott Award for his longstandnig support of the School, as reported on The Darden Report.
O’Neill is a longstanding member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees, a member of the School’s Principal Donors Society and has remained engaged with Darden through a number of capacities, including as a guest lecturer.
In 2017, O’Neill established the O’Neill Marine Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships to First Year students who are members or veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserves.
Accepting the award, O’Neill said he was “flattered and honored” by the recognition and credited Darden with taking a European Civilization major and giving him the tools to learn how to run a business.
“Still today, I encounter things in business that hearken back to classes and cases I had before,” O’Neill said. “For me, it was truly transformational and it truly made a difference in my life.”
O’Neill joined Citi’s board in 2009, helping steer the company through a major restructuring in the wake of the global financial crisis and Great Recession. He served as Citi’s chairman from 2012 until January 2019. Prior to his time at Citi, he held leadership positions as CFO of BankAmerica, CEO of Barclays and CEO of Bank of Hawaii in a finance career that began in 1974 following his graduation from Darden.