O’Neil oversees development at A&S

Amanda Bayhi

Larry O’Neil, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, said his job is like that of a Sherpa, or guide, in terms of how he works within the college. In the same vein, O’Neil said he helps people find ways they can better help the college.

“Success builds on success,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil was named to the position at the end of last November. O’Neil said his job is to assist the dean and faculty as well as to look for resources that will help the college succeed. He raises funds for the college and forms relationships with people who can impact the college.

“I help people make a difference in their own way by supporting something they care about,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil said he worked as a fundraiser many times before earning his current position as director of development.

O’Neil worked at the University eight years ago in central development. He has lived in Tuscaloosa since then and has been working at Druid City Hospital for the past seven years.

In addition to his work at DCH, O’Neil said he helped create the hospital’s first fundraising program while working there.

“It was an incredible experience, and a hospital environment’s totally different than fundraising for and educational environment,” O’Neil said.

According to a news release sent out by the University, O’Neil’s fundraising program has raised $10 million from nearly 300,000 contributors.

O’Neil said his job in central development at UA was very similar to what he does now.

The main difference, he said, is that his duties regarding his previous job were to work with the entire University rather than one specific college.

“Now, I’m just focused on the College of Arts and Sciences, which is huge,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil also said there are approximately 40,000 living alumni in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is the most diverse college on UA’s campus, O’Neil said, because there are about 24 different departments in the college.

O’Neil’s job is not to create priorities for the College of Arts and Sciences, but that the director of development’s job is to help students and faculty through things like scholarships and support services. The dean, O’Neil said, is the person who makes goals for the college.

Robert Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he anticipates O’Neil being successful in his position as director of development for the college.

“He has already hit the ground running in his first two weeks here, and I am looking forward to our alumni and friends renewing their friendship with this seasoned UA professional,” Olin said.

O’Neil said his job is like that of a Sherpa, or guide, in terms of how he works within the college. In the same vein, O’Neil said he helps people find ways they can better help the college.

“Success builds on success,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil said the University will have some sort of impact on every student who walks on campus, and the impact, in return, will affect how each student views UA. O’Neil said he tries to find people who are part of the UA family and would like to help make it the best it can be.

“Once you leave campus you don’t just leave – you’re always connected to it,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil said he looks forward to being a part of the UA faculty again and working with the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I’m excited about working with students and faculty, alumni and friends,” O’Neil said.