Christian O’Neal ’01 still fondly recalls the excitement when his top university choice sent a scholarship offer to his home in Hot Springs.
O’Neal has been a Trojan ever since.
The 2001 business administration-management graduate has served in numerous key positions for UALR through the years.
On April 1, he’ll add another — vice chancellor for advancement.
“In this new role, I’m eager to lead the communications and fundraising initiatives vital to the university’s future,” O’Neal said. “It helps that I inherit a proven team of professionals that work so hard to tell our story and to facilitate matchmaking between our donors and important university priorities.”
O’Neal will succeed Bob Denman who plans to retire at the end of March.
“We are fortunate to be able to hire Christian O’Neal as vice chancellor for university advancement to succeed Bob Denman,” UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson said. “Under Vice Chancellor Denman’s leadership, our development operations have matured and achieved consistency.
“Christian O’Neal comes highly recommended. He knows our alumni, our advancement personnel, and our community. He can maintain the university’s momentum and lead in further strengthening UALR’s fundraising efforts.”
In addition to serving as UALR’s associate vice chancellor for alumni and development, O’Neal held the roles of corporate and foundation relations and executive director of alumni.
Since becoming the associate vice chancellor for alumni and development in July 2013, O’Neal raised $1.6 million in contributions and other revenue for the university. He also led signature events, including Taste of Little Rock, which raised more than $300,000 for scholarships. In 2015, the event was the most-attended fundraiser in UALR history, drawing 1,000 guests.
O’Neal said it’s a privilege to be part of a campus that’s so special.
“I say wherever I go that UALR is a great Arkansas institution,” O’Neal said.
“For me, UALR was the front door to the American dream. I know many others share that same sense of appreciation for what this institution means to them. Daily, I’m inspired by the achievements of our students, dedicated alumni, and faculty and staff. I’m honored by the trust our generous donors place in us.”
O’Neal recently led a team responsible for the annual employee campaign, which in 2015 had a record participation rate of more than 70 percent.