Bill O’Neal, long time faculty member of Panola College, received his honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Texas A&M Commerce, on Saturday, August 10. Dr. Dan Jones, President of Texas A&M Commerce, addressed the attendees and said that the honorary doctorate degree was given only to those who had achieved national or international distinction in their chosen field. As a gifted instructor and author who has over 40 books to his credit, Bill has distinguished himself in the area of history having been on several television networks and having been selected as the State historian of Texas for 2012-2014. Bill said, ”This is one of the best days of my life.”
Bill also was the speaker for the graduation ceremony for students who earned their graduate degree. He told of his time on campus in the 1960s and how the university had prepared him for his journey in life. He challenged the graduates to use the knowledge that has been given to them to live up to their full potential.
A reception was held in his honor following the graduation ceremony at the Alumni Center on campus. Friends and family were there to wish him well. Dr. Berri O’Neal, daughter of Bill O’Neal, addressed the group and told of the importance that he had placed on education.