After graduating from law school a few years ago, Brian Reilly ’11 finally had some free time for his other interests. “I wanted to get involved, and Stonehill is where I felt a deep connection,” he recalls. “So I sought out opportunities to give back.”

Reilly first joined the GOLD (Graduates Of the Last Decade) Committee and eventually became part of the Alumni Council, which led to his involvement with the Alumni Scholarship Committee, where he currently serves as chairperson.

This Committee is responsible for reviewing student applications and selecting the recipients of several scholarships, most of which go to a rising senior. “The opportunity to help current students have the types of experiences that I had was really important to me,” says Reilly. “I was fortunate that while I was at Stonehill I had an honors scholarship, and that was the primary thing that allowed me to be there, so I understand the value of a scholarship.”

The opportunity to help current students have the types of experiences that I had was really important to me.

Each spring, students are notified that these select scholarships are available and are invited to apply. The Committee, composed of nine members, reviews all of the applications and selects finalists to interview. Hearing the stories that the applicants share makes a powerful impact, says Reilly, who has been on the Committee for the past three years.

“Many stories are of students who have said that if they aren’t awarded a scholarship, then they’ll be forced to transfer or drop out. Those, to me, are the ones that really stand out,” he notes.

“In a lot of those cases, it’s the stress level. A student may be working three or four jobs to afford school. Maybe they are just making ends meet, but they can’t focus on their school work or even socialize—the things that you’d hope a student could do while in college. For a lot of recipients, a scholarship releases that pressure valve.”

Reilly says giving back in this way is a priority for him. “You can be very involved, and it only takes 10 or 20 hours a year to do it. It really isn’t a heavy lift, and it makes a huge difference in the lives of these students.”

If you’d like to make a donation to the Alumni Council Scholarship Fund, visit the Fund's webpage or call 508-565-1341.