Kelly L. O’Brien Scholarship

This scholarship was created by Kelly to encourage the non-traditional female student to pursue her educational goals, no matter her age, and to realize the full potential of her abilities and aspirations.

At age 45, Kelly O’Brien started on a journey to pursue her dream of a college education, only to have it cut short by breast cancer, just one semester shy of graduation. In establishing this scholarship, Kelly wanted to honor her grandmother, a long-time Beloit teacher, Clara L. Hirt-O’Brien, who after having four children, went back to school during the early 1940’s at the age of 41 to become certified in the field of special education.

Kelly also wanted to honor her grandmother, Virginia Crist-Coleman, and great aunt, Loucille Crist-Stewart who attended Beloit College during the early 1920’s. Also, great aunt Elinor Crist-Zorn, who graduated from Beloit College in 1931, and most impressive her great-grandmother, Adah Lind-Crist, who graduated with honors from Beloit College in 1923 at the age of 43. It is in the memory of Kelly O’Brien that this scholarship is presented.


  • Female, non-traditional student, 25 years of age and above
  • Stateline area resident
  • Enrolled in a degree program at a 4-year college, 2-year college, or technical college
  • Full or part-time student
  • Interrupted education because of family or financial obligations
  • Application to include short essay on why the applicant went back to college, future plans, and reasons for desiring the scholarship