By Chris Muller

The NIRSA Foundation is happy to introduce the NIRSA Foundation Scholarship Fund, which gives NIRSA members the opportunity to honor their NIRSA colleagues through scholarships in their name. The first scholarship that will be awarded from this new fund will be in the name of long-time NIRSA member Barbara Brimi who recently passed away.

Mary Ellen Milam of Texas Christian University explains that “Barbara paved the way for an entire generation of women to be successful and continued to do so throughout her entire career.” She was one of the first women to join NIRSA when the Association once again allowed women to become members in 1973, and in 1992 she served as one of the founding NIRSA Foundation Board members. She helped lay the groundwork for where the Foundation is today.

“Barbara’s impact on the lives of students and professionals is immeasurable,” says Nicole Olmeda, Senior Assistant Director at the University of Texas at Austin. “She had a direct influence on the professional foundation I’m rooted in today. I can only hope that I continue to live up to the professional she taught me to be, and that her spirit lives on through the students and professionals I work with today and in the future.” Barbara was honored with the Region IV Regional Award of Merit in 1995 and in 2001, after 31 years, she retired as an Associate Director at the University of Texas at Austin. She then returned to her home state of Tennessee to work for South College.

Mary Ellen, who once worked with Barbara at the University of Texas, says that “Barbara served as a mentor and friend to me as I grew in my first professional position in the field. I will always be grateful for her guidance and wisdom. But what I remember most, and what gives me my fondest memories of Barbara, is her infectious laugh, sense of humor, and genuine care for others. I believe that Barbara would be truly honored to have this scholarship as her legacy as it will help others to find the passion for and value in the career field that brought her so much joy.”

If you are interested in contributing to the Foundation Scholarship Fund in Barbara’s honor, please visit the NIRSA website or stop by the NIRSA Foundation table at the 2015 Annual Conference in Grapevine. To donate specifically to the Barbara Brimi Honorary Scholarship on the website, please select the “In Honor” drop-down option and write in “Barbara Brimi” in the open cell. Members or families of members interested in establishing an honorary scholarship should contact NIRSA Headquarters or a NIRSA Foundation Board member.


For more information about the Barbara Brimi Honorary Scholarship, please contact NIRSA Foundation Coordinator Breeana Myatt