Take the First Step

Unlike our traditional scholarship program, the "Take the First Step" award is not based on financial need, but is designed to help deserving students take that first step in education, something Alison believed college was important in life and business.

Alison O’Hara unexpectedly died on July 20, 2013 from complications from cancer. Alison was the first female Chairman of the Board at Follett Corporation in its 140 year history. Alison was also a Follett family member.
She began her professional career at Follett in the late 1990’s as Senior Counsel in Follett’s legal department and was elected to the Follett Board of Directors in 1999. In her dual roles as a Follett employee and a loving wife, mother, and stepmother, Alison understood the importance of education. It was a passion of hers to help connect students of all ages and incomes with as many educational opportunities as possible. She also felt it was critical to offer tools to enhance the quality of their education and their ability to access information.  She devoted much of her time and energy in these pursuits.
Alison helped guide Follett Corporation to pursue emerging areas of education especially focusing on digital technology and content as primary areas.  Alison touched many lives on both a personal and professional level.  She will be missed.