UVA Darden Presents Former Citigroup Chairman O’Neill With Highest Alumni Honor


By Dave Hendrick

University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Michael O’Neill (MBA ’74) was honored on 27 April with the Charles C. Abbott Award during his 45th reunion celebration at the School.

The award, which is presented by the Darden Alumni Association Board of Directors, is considered the highest alumni honor presented by the School, and recognizes a graduate who demonstrates an exceptional contribution of time, energy and talent to the School.

O’Neill, a long-time leader in the financial services industry who recently retired as chairman of the board of Citigroup, 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.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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