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Beverly L. O'Neill

1984 Distinguished Alumna

Beverly L. O'Neill

Beverly L. O'Neill

1956 MA Education: Elementary Education
1952 BA Education: Elementary Education

The Honorable Beverly Lewis O'Neill is Long Beach's only three-term mayor. Elected in 1994, she was re-elected in 1998 and was chosen for a third te1T11 as a write-in candidate, the nation's only large-city mayor to accomplish such a historic feat. During her tenure, she was a major force for changing the Long Beach economy into a diversified mix of international trade, tourism, emerging technologies and expanding retail.

The League of California Cities elected her its 2001 -02 president and American City County magazine named her its 2004 municipal leader of the year. She achieved further national prominence as the 2005-06 United States Conference of Mayors president.   Born in Long Beach, O'Neill is the daughter of Flossie and Clarence Lewis and is a product of the Long Beach public school system, starting with the Long Beach Day Nursery up to her graduation from CSULB.

Prior to becoming mayor, she spent a 31-year career at Long Beach City College (LBCC), beginning as a music instructor and women's advisor, advancing to campus dean and rising to superintendent -president. In I976, she was inducted into LBCCs Hall of Fame. Previously, she was a Long Beach Unified School District teacher.   O'Neill has been deeply involved in the Long Beach community throughout her life. Her volunteer service has exceeded more than 20 community organizations, including Rotary International, the Salvation Army, YMCA, United Way and AIDS Walk of Long Beach.

Currently, she sits on the International City Bank and Long Beach Memorial Hospital boards of directors. Numerous organizations have honored O'Neill for her devotion to the city, education and youth. Recently, she received the Crystal Arts and Humanitarian Award from International City Theatre for her significant contributions to the arts.

Other awards include the LA County Economic Development Corporation's 1999 EDDY Award, 1997 Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen  of  the Year,  1995 California  54th Assembly  District Woman  of  the Year and the 1991 National  Conference of  Christian  and Jews Humanitarian Award.

In 2010, Outskirts Press published Passionately Positive: The Beverly O'Neill Story, written by Harry Saltzgaver.   Her service to CSULB is exceptional. At present, she is the 2011 - 12 chair of the 49er Foundation. From 2008-11, she was the William Dickson Faculty Fellow for the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership. In the past, she served on the Alumni Association board of directors and in Woman and Philanthropy.

A 2009 Golden Graduate inductee, she was awarded the Alumni Association Golden Achievement Award in 1999 and CSULB's Distinguished Alumni honors in 1984. While attending CSULB, O'Neill was Women's Stu­ dents president and received the 1952 Outstanding Woman award. O'Neill is married to her "high school sweetheart" and CSULB alumnus, William (1951, B.A., social science; 1952, M .A., English literature), who is a USC School of Education professor emeritus. They have a daughter, Teresa, and one 17-year-old grandson, Nolan.  

From Alumni Awards 1984 program