Don O'Connell, former Pacific Regent and longtime University supporter, passed away on March 4, 2013, at the age of 76.
Former Regent Don O'Connell passed awayA committed University supporter and former University Regent, Mr. O'Connell passed away on March 4, 2013, succumbing to a long fight against cancer. He was 76 years old.
May 15, 1936 - March 4, 2013
Mr. O'Connell became acquainted with University of the Pacific in the early 1990s in a chance meeting with Art Dugoni, then dean of the dental school and President of the American Dental Association. Mr. O'Connell later joined the school's foundation board and also served as its president in 1998, making a significant impact in increased fundraising during his tenure.
He served on the Pacific Board of Regents from 1998-2005 — as secretary 2000-01, vice chair 2001-02 and chair from 2002-04. "Don O'Connell was the perfect transitional board chair after the long service of Bob Monagan. His executive experience, gracious diplomacy, and positive enthusiasm for Pacific was reassuring and helped to keep the University moving forward," said President Emeritus Don DeRosa. "He was much admired by fellow regents as well as campus leaders." Mr. O'Connell served on the dental panel of the National Commission in 2000 and was awarded the Dental School's Medallion of Distinction in 2007. Don and Carol, his wife of 46 years, were long-time supporters of the University, contributing more than $1 million dollars to University initiatives during his lifetime.
Mr. O'Connell was retired from Johnson & Johnson, having held a variety of positions in the U.S. and abroad during his 35-year career. At his retirement, he was president of "A" Company/Johnson & Johnson USA, which manufactures and sells orthodontic dental supplies, and chairman of Johnson & Johnson Worldwide.
In addition to his involvement with Pacific, he had served in various leadership capacities in professional and civic organizations, including director and executive vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, director and board member of the American Dental Trade Association and director of the American Fund for Dental Health.