*Berri O’Neal Announced as Panola College 2016 Alumna of the Year*
The Panola College Alumni Association is proud to announce the selection of
Dr. Berri O’Neal as the 2016 Panola College Alumna of the Year. Dr. O’Neal
will be recognized by Dr. Greg Powell, President of Panola College at the
spring commencement ceremony scheduled for Friday, May 13, at 7pm in the
Carthage Civic Center.
“My memories at Panola College are truly too many to put into words….I’ve
often said that my years as a Panola College student were two of the best
years of my life. They were filled with some of the best times and best
life lessons that have shaped me throughout my life,” states O’Neal.
Dr. Berri O’Neal is the Executive Director of Extended University for Texas
A&M University-Commerce. She oversees off-campus locations for the
University, in Downtown Dallas, McKinney, Rockwall, Midlothian, Corsicana
O’Neal graduated from Panola College in 1995, then transferred to Texas A&M
University-Commerce, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in
Radio/Television, a Master’s degree in Theatre/Management and a Doctorate
of Education in Secondary and Higher Education with a specialization in
Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction. She earned post-doctoral hours in
the field of Management.
For two decades, O’Neal has pursued her passion by working in higher
education at Texas A&M University-Commerce and the University of North
Texas in the areas of Student Services, Enrollment Management, Admissions,
Registration and Orientation. She has also taught as an adjunct professor
for the College of Business for Texas A&M University-Commerce. Berri served
as the Executive Director for the state’s oldest Multi-InstitutionTeaching
Center, the Universities Center at Dallas, for 11 years since 2005. O’Neal
has been a consultant to numerous businesses in the region and speaks at
state and national conferences on the topics of hiring, motivating and
empowering effective employees in the workplace. She served as President of
the Chi Omega Commerce Alumnae Chapter for five years and received the Chi
Omega Distinguished Alumnae Award.
O’Neal is a member of Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and
Admissions Officers, American Association for University Women, the
Association for Collaborative Leadership, the North Dallas Chamber of
Commerce Education Committee,Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars
and Admissions Officers, Downtown Dallas Inc., Chi Omega National
Fraternity, First Baptist Church – Euless and O.C. Taylor PTA where she
serves as a homeroom mom. In 2011-2012, O’Neal enjoyed a highlight of her
career, by serving as President of TACRAO.
“Because I work in higher education, I am often able to recount my
experiences at Panola, and I explain to students how much the first two
years of college can impact their education and their future for the rest
of their lives,” says O’Neal. “Community colleges can be such a remarkable
place for students to make a successful transition between high school and
a university, and I was blessed beyond measure, that mine were two years
filled with experiences, too many to count, that shaped my life and helped
me to become who I am today.”
O’Neal is married to Drew Gormley, and they live in Colleyville with their
three children – Addison, a first grader and twins, Reagan and Nolan, who
are in kindergarten.
O’Neal comes from a family of Panola College Alumni. Both her mother and
all three of her sisters are Panola College Alumni and her father taught at
Panola College for 36 years. Parents are Bill and Karon O’Neal of Carthage
and Faye and Pat Frasier of Eureka, Texas. Her sisters are Dr. Shellie
O’Neal, Lynn Martinez and Causby Henderson.
*Photo: Dr. Berri O’Neal – 2016 Alumna of the Year*