Fifty years and forward

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Join us in celebrating the O’Neill School’s 50th anniversary and the stable leadership, visionary faculty, and driven students and alumni who have taken the lessons learned in the classroom and applied them solve complex problems for the greater good.


Pictured above: Internship program cohort, circa 1987.

Description of the video:

Hi! I'm Sian Mooney, and on behalf of the O'Neill School I'd like to invite you to join us as we celebrate 50 years of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Charles Bonser: We started the School of Public and Environmental Affairs because we saw a need. It was 1972. The nation was in an era of social and political turmoil. We needed civic leaders and public servants who could be entrusted to make sound decisions. We needed champions for the environment who understood both science and people interacting with it. SPEA was
the right idea at the right time and it still is.

Mooney: Today as we celebrate the O'Neill School's 50th anniversary, we're training the next generation of leaders on both our Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.

Paul H. O'Neill: A real leader starts with a proposition that says you don't seek or accept a leadership designation because you get more fame out of it, but because you hunger for the responsibility of making a difference.

Bonser: We have alumni around the world and they're doing big things. Our current students are going to do the same. They'll be financial managers and policy makers in the U.S. and internationally. They'll run not-for-profits to change people's live. They'll manage museums and festivals impacting cultural policy. They'll be environmental advocates
changing the way that we approach sustainability and energy. They're
preparing for careers they can't even imagine yet at a school that's focused
on tomorrow.

Mooney: The foundation of the O'Neill School is our faculty. For 50 years they've shaped the world around us through their research and they're
recognized globally as leading experts in their fields.

O'Neill: This was--in those days and i think now, as much as ever-- a thriving community of intellectual pursuit and journey and discovery.

Mooney: During the past 50 years our relentless drive to improve society and ourselves has served the O'neill School and its students well. We will continue to uphold these values for the next 50 years and beyond. In a way we're all just getting started.

In 2022-23 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school, and what better way to mark our ongoing innovation and commitment to leading for the greater good than again being named number one for public affairs in this year's edition of the Best Graduate Schools.

—O'Neill School Dean Siân Mooney
50 years at O'Neill