Kevin O'Brien Scholarship
The late Kevin O’Brien was a writer, a small business owner, a highly skilled U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, and a network engineer who passed away in April 2017.
While in the U.S. Army, he completed a B.S. with the Regents External Degree Program, now Excelsior University. He attended graduate school at Worcester State (for just one semester, studying education) and at Daniel Webster College, where he earned an M.B.A. He attended numerous military schools in a 30-year career, and earned a certificate in Conflict Analysis from the U.S. Institute of Peace.
He served numerous overseas tours, including a stint in Afghanistan in 2003. Most recently, he was the creator and author of an acclaimed blog www.weaponsman.com, which is widely read by those interested in firearms and the military.
Kevin was fiercely loyal to his friends, family, and Army comrades. In addition, he treasured family time, stimulating conversations, and helping young people when possible. Above all, he valued hard work and industriousness.
The stories are legion of how Kevin helped others. One friend found herself, due to a flood, without a vehicle or working washer or dryer when Kevin was in Afghanistan. He somehow found out about the situation, and offered his truck and apartment for her use for as long as needed. Kevin also never stopped learning. Whether it was specific Army-related courses or reading scores of books, he was always looking to add to his vast knowledge.
At Worcester State, Kevin served as a judge for the Robert K. O’Brien ’58 Next Big Idea contest, an annual event founded by his father celebrating entrepreneurship and creativity. The contest challenges students to present their ideas for new businesses to a group of experienced professionals with a chance to earn cash prizes. In addition, the Barbara (Hickey) O’Brien ’57 Education Department at Worcester State is named for his mother, a longtime educator and WSU benefactor. In addition to the Kevin O’Brien Scholarship, the O’Brien family has supported six other scholarships that have supported more than 100 students and counting.