Executive Director of the Universities Center at Dallas and Panola College alumnus, Dr. Berri O’Neal, will speak at the 2013 spring commencement. The event is scheduled for Friday, May 10, at 7 pm in the Arthur M. Johnson Gymnasium.

Dr. O’Neal, a Carthage native, earned her Associate’s degree from Panola College in Communication Arts. While at Panola, Berri served as Panola’s mascot, Fillis the Fillie, traveled and performed with the Panola College Chorale, served as the Copy Editor and Photo Editor for the Pony Express, as Vice President for the Student Government, was active onstage in the drama department’s productions and in Delta Psi Omega and Phi Theta Kappa. Berri grew up on the Panola College campus, visiting as a young child in her father’s classroom. Berri’s father, Bill O’Neal, was a faculty member at Panola for over 30 years. She also served as a mascot for the cheerleaders when she was 5 years old, cheering for the Ponies and Fillies.

Berri attended 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.

For two decades, Berri 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. Berri has served as the Executive Director for the State’s oldest Multi-Institution Teaching Center, the Universities Center at Dallas, since 2005. The UCD offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with 1500 students. Berri also has served as 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. Berri also serves on the faculty in the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Commerce in the Department of Marketing and Management.

Berri is a member of the American Association for University Women, the Association for Collaborative Leadership, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Chi Omega National Fraternity and Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. In 2011-2012, Berri served as the President of the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Berri is married to Drew Gormley, and they reside in Valley Ranch with their three children, Addison, Nolan and Reagan. Eighteen years after Berri’s graduation from Panola College, she is honored to be back on the campus where she enjoyed two of the best years of her life.