On June 3, 1988, Kelly O’Hara, a rising fourth-year student at the University, wrote down her priorities for the summer. Her first priority was God. After that she listed writing letters to friends, planning enjoyable activities with her best friend, assembling a photo album for her family, reading new books and daily running.
Those who knew Kelly O’Hara recognized that these priorities reflected her personality and expressed her character. She desired to know God, to serve others, and to develop herself spiritually, intellectually and physically. As was so evident during her life and at the time of her death on June 30, 1988, Kelly O’Hara pursued these goals by reaching out to those around her. She participated fully in all aspects of life on Grounds and developed a special interest in politics and public policy issues.
To remember her life and honor her ideals, a Kelly O’Hara Scholarship Fund has been established. Any rising fourth-year woman at the University of Virginia with a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA is eligible to apply for this award. The committee will award $20,000 for the 2021–22 academic year.
The recipient of this scholarship is not expected to be a replica of Kelly O’Hara. But it is the desire of her family and friends that the scholarship benefits students who value the ideals of Kelly O’Hara and who share her enthusiasm for God and service to others. Applying for a scholarship like this one, which focuses on many personal qualities, can be a difficult decision. Besides the applicant’s own individual initiative, the selection committee relies on students and other members of the University community to encourage qualified candidates to apply.
To become an applicant for the Kelly O’Hara Scholarship, please prepare a statement, no more than two typed pages (or 1,000 words) in length, expressing in what way your own priorities and aspirations are similar to Kelly O’Hara’s.