Michael O’Neill (second from right), a 2003 graduate of Quinnipiac University, recently received the H. Pearce Family Community Leadership Award given by H. Pearce Co. Realtors. Also on hand for the presentation (from left) are Manny Carreiro, vice president and dean of student affairs at Quinnipiac; Kristen Busch, marketing and public relations coordinator for H. Pearce Co.; and John L. Lahey, Quinnipiac president.

Michael O’Neill, who graduated in May from Quinnipiac University, has received the H. Pearce Family Community Leadership Award given by H. Pearce Co. Realtors. The award was presented at Quinnipiac’s 20th annual Senior Awards Ceremony and is endowed by H. Pearce Co. founder, Herb Pearce, and his daughter, company President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Pearce.

O’Neill is the son of Michael and Cheryl O’Neill of East Sandwich.

The award, given to the Quinnipiac student who “best exemplifies the spirit of volunteer community service,” carries a prize of $5,000 and was given to O’Neill for his dedication, time and commitment to community service during his four years of undergraduate study at Quinnipiac, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science.

A member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coed service fraternity on the Quinnipiac campus, O’Neill was also the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award of “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” from Quinnipiac University.

In addition to his studies, O’Neill has spent a great deal of his time at Quinnipiac volunteering for and performing community service. On campus, he has been active with the Quinnipiac University Community Action Project, Student Government Association and the Albert Schweitzer Institute.

Other than his work with Quinnipiac service organizations, O’Neill has maintained involvement with Laurel Gardens, Hamden Healthcare, Harborview Manor, various soup kitchens and Habitat for Humanity. He also has spent time volunteering at Amity Junior High School as a chaperone at semi-formal dances and contributed efforts to repainting a New Haven elementary school. Because of O’Neill’s help, more students are serving the local community and the members of the community have benefited from that involvement.

Herb Pearce noted that it’s important to encourage and recognize outstanding community involvement in young adults. Encouraging community service among company associates has been a tenet of the H. Pearce Co. since its founding in 1958, he added. “To take part in and to give of oneself to causes and agencies that further the public good is important for young people to learn,” Pearce said. “By reaching out to others less fortunate than ourselves, we indeed show what Michael learned first-hand through his commitment – that giving makes one feel good and can positively affect the lives of others.”