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Van Horn Scholarship Awarded to Four West Hartford Students

From left: Fallon Hemingway, Aidan Shea, Meghan O'Shea, and Siobahn Boyle. Submitted photo

Seniors from West Hartford’s Conard High School, Hall High School, Kingswood Oxford School, and Northwest Catholic High School were honored with the Van Horn Scholarship Thursday.


Four West Hartford students received a $5,000 scholarship from the Van Horn Foundation at a breakfast held at Kingswood Oxford School’s Alumni Hall on May 23.

The four recipients were: Siobhan Boyle, Hall High School ’19, George Washington University ’23; Fallon Hemingway, Conard High School ’19, Colgate University ’23; Aidan Shea, Kingswood Oxford School ’19, Dickinson College ’23; and Meghan O’Shea, Northwest Catholic ’19, Byrn Mawr College ’23.

John “Jay” F.  Kearns from Kearns and Kearns in West Hartford presided over the ceremony and acknowledged the many academic and extracurricular accomplishments of the students.

He shared the background of the Van Horn family who established the foundation. The Van Horns were people of modest means: Mr. Van Horn was a steelworker, and his wife, Phyllis, worked in a card shop. When Phyllis became ill in 1999, she met with Kearns who advises in estate planning, and she said that she had the vision to benefit the community.

Since the Van Horns were childless, they left their entire estate to a charitable foundation, and once a year monies are given to the university each student will attend from one of the four high schools in West Hartford.

“So here we are after 18 years and the Van Horn foundation keeps going, and we keep having great students to pick from. The way we look at this scholarship is as an investment. It’s like buying a blue chip stock and buying something of value,” Kearns said. “We’re investing in you as a well- rounded, solid citizen. We look at your track record and transcripts; we read your essays and letter of recommendations. Our mission is to reward you for your years of hard work.  We’re honoring you and the Van Horns with this breakfast.”

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