On November 12, the Peter L. O'Neill '59 Alumni Center was dedicated after over a year of renovations that transformed the ground floor of Old Main. Overseeing a team of interior designers and craftsmen, Peter's wife Rebecca O'Neill is responsible for the stunning results: a magnificent new hub for Delbarton alumni and collection of events spaces destined to be enjoyed for generations to come. During the Dedication, artist John Traynor '79 unveiled his portrait of Peter O'Neill '59 that now greets guests as they enter Old Main. The President's Room includes a plaque listing the names of Delbarton Alumni Association presidents, and a glass-fronted display cabinet filled with memorabilia from Peter O'Neill's life, including his treasured copy of the 1959 Archway yearbook. Several working offices relating to alumni affairs, that occupy the former senior guidance area, complete the new floorplan.
Enjoy some photos below from the event and the newly renovated rooms.
After a welcome from Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB and Mrs. O'Neill, Assistant Headmaster for Advancement and Alumni Craig Paris '82 paid tribute to his good friend Peter O'Neill. Next, Sister Marion Defeis, CSJ, the former chaplain of Rikers Island Prison and a dear friend of Peter's, delivered a blessing, and Abbot Jonathan Licari, OSB officially blessed the rooms. Later, over sixty guests, including several of Peter's Class of 1959 classmates and members of the Delbarton Alumni Board, enjoyed a buffet lunch served in the Gallery. The comfortably furnished veranda was a popular place to dine al fresco on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Friends and relatives of the O'Neill family also attended the Dedication and enjoyed wandering through the beautifully furnished rooms.
The following text was included in the Dedication Ceremony program...
The first floor of Old Main, the historic Kountze mansion that is the iconic heart of the Delbarton School campus, was refurbished in 2022 in honor of the late Peter "Pete" L. O'Neill, class of 1959, and now bears his name.
Pete was a long-standing supporter of Delbarton during his life and, especially, of the Delbarton Alumni Association. Pete was a class representative for the Class of 1959 from the inception of the current Alumni Class Representative Program. Pete lived in Old Main during his years at Delbarton. He often reflected on fond memories of his time there and the many lifelong friendships he developed. Pete attributed much of his success to the education and formation he received as a student. He would often say that Delbarton was his in loco parentis and gave him the skills and character necessary to achieve many of his later successes.
After his graduation from Delbarton in 1959, Pete attended Colgate University and the New York University School of Law. He served as a police officer while in law school and in 1966 was appointed as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Pete would ultimately transition to the corporate world where he served as a Vice President of the Wackenhut Corporation (now G4S) and Assistant General Counsel of ARA Services (now ARAMARK). In 1977, Pete co-founded CARCO Group, Inc., an information services corporation specializing in fraud detection. Under Pete's leadership, CARCO grew from its roots as a pioneer in vehicle pre-insurance inspection to a leader in background investigation and risk mitigation. Starting with 5 employees, CARCO expanded its operations to 192 countries. In addition to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Pete was a member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), a Director of the New York Law Enforcement Foundation and a lifetime member and president of the International Security Management Association (ISMA).
In 1999, Pete was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Delbarton School Hall of Honor. Pete and his wife, Becky O'Neill, joined the Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B. Society and the St. Benedict Society in 2019. In 2021, Pete was posthumously the honoree of the Frederick D. Suydam Memorial Association. Following Pete’s death in 2019, Becky sought to recognize his love of Delbarton and Old Main by a renovation of Old Main to provide a place for alumni to share in the camaraderie that meant so much to Pete, and to support and encourage the development of young men in achieving their full potential according to God’s will.
The Delbarton community thanks Rebecca O'Neill and her hard-working team of experts for so beautifully transforming the ground floor of Old Main. We now look forward to enjoying many special events in these elegant spaces.