Let The Ceremonies Begin

On Friday, Mr. Stan O’Neal, Chairman, President, and CEOof Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. officially became a part of theHoward University family as he welcomed freshman into the semester,reminded them of the legacy they have joined and offered valuableadvice on making a global difference. 

“If you want to change the world, it canreally help if you’re on the inside,” saidO’Neal.

Mr. Stan O’Neal became CEO of MerrillLynch in December 2002 and was elected Chairman in April2003.  He has held a series of increasingly responsiblepositions since joining the company in 1986 as vice president ofinvestment banking.  He was named president and chiefoperating officer in July 2001 and served as president of MerrillLynch’s U.S. Private Client Group from February 2000 untilJuly 2001. 

Before Joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. O’Nealwas employed at General Motors Corporation in New York andMadrid.  He held a number of financial positions at thecompany, including general assistant treasurer in New York,responsible for mergers, acquisitions, and domestic financingactivities.  

Retrospectively looking back at the time spentat his own alma mater Harvard University, O’Neal imploredstudents to “remember how fortunate you are and whatextraordinary possibilities lay ahead of you to seizethem.”

His words echo a word of caution given by Dr.Floretta Dukes McKenzie, Chairwoman, Howard University Board ofTrustees who said, “Today we place our hope on you and we areconfident in your ability to add to the luster of the HowardUniversity legacy.”  

Professors pompously clad in robes of honorand prestige, the excellent selection from soloist Khalia Hamptonwith The Howard University Choir, and the consistent themes of hopeand tradition were enough to make students swell with a great senseof admiration and respect for Howard’s legacy of 137 years asthe Mecca of education.

“Convocation always instills pride and alove for the history of the university.  It makes me feel goodabout being a student here,” said Kristal Knight, juniorbroadcast journalism major from Memphis Tennessee.  

As Mr. O’Neal left the podium, his lastwords presenting a challenge for students, faculty, and staff aliketo use our time at Howard University wisely.

“We have it within our possibility tomake the dream a reality.”