Stephen O’Connell was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame. During his military career Stephan served in the US Army Air Corps. During WWII he served with the Fifth Air Force in Brisbane, Australia as executive officer of the 312th Bombardment Group in the Western Pacific. He also served in New Guinea, the Philippines and Okinawa. He served his wartime service with distinction and was honorably discharged as a Major in 1946.
In 1955 Stephan gave up a thriving law practice to serve as Justice to the Florida Supreme Court at the appointment of Governor Collins.
In 1967 Stephan was elected Chief Justice of the Court.
Shortly there after the Florida Board of Regents selected him to be President of the University of Florida.
Stephan helped institute the Veteran Center at the then all male University of Florida.
To the credit of President O’Connell, the University of Florida was ranked in 2017 as one of the top five veteran friendly universities in America.