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Sis O'Neil Scholarship

 In Memory of Marion “Sis” O’Neil (9/26/32-06/04/18)

“Go for it!” Those would undoubtedly be the words you would hear if you went to Sis for advice on following your dreams.  Whether you were trying out for the team or stepping outside of your comfort zone on a personal goal, Marion ‘Sis’ O’Neil would be your biggest cheerleader.

Born into a hardworking, blue collar family, Sis grew up in Norwich and proudly attended NFA.  She graduated in 1950 and remained an instrumental member of the NFA Alumni Association, organizing and hosting annual events focused on bringing people together.  Each year, Sis and her Class of 1950 classmates enthusiastically participated in NFA’s Homecoming Spirit Day, taking home the spirit award numerous times. The “Sis O’Neil Homecoming Spirit Award” is named in her honor.

After graduation, Sis continued her education at Mitchell College in New London.  Combining her love of academics and her devotion to athletic excellence, she worked as a PE teacher at Notre Dame, Kelly Junior High, and NFA, promoting core values of character, academic merit and sportsmanship.  She enjoyed playing tennis, coaching girls basketball and saw the value in being involved in team sports. She was an avid fan of all sports and appreciated competition and fair play, especially in women’s sports. She was a loyal fan of the UCONN Huskies and the Connecticut Sun, faithfully attending games whenever possible.  If she wasn't in the stands, you could find her watching the game on TV, with a pad of paper and pen, taking down the stats as the game clock counted down. 

Sis spent most of her life as an influential businesswoman and took great pride in giving back to the community.  Her true love was Acorn Acres Campground in Bozrah, which she developed, owned and operated for 50 years. Her campground wasn't just a business to Sis. Acorn Acres was her home and she made sure you were treated as her guest. Year after year, generation after generation, guests became family.  She had an incredible flair for bringing people together.  

Sis was a fearless, independent woman who made smart choices and appropriate risks.  She believed in taking charge of your own life and following your dreams. She worked tirelessly her entire life with the purpose of paying it forward.  This scholarship was established with Sis’ encouraging “Go For It!’ perspective. The Sis O’Neil Scholarship is awarded to an accomplished female athlete in financial need.  The recipient will promote sportsmanship and will be committed to academic excellence. With her humble generosity, Sis continues her lifelong goal of supporting young women in pursuing their dreams.

The Sis O’Neil Scholarship is awarded to an accomplished female student-athlete with financial need.  The recipient promotes sportsmanship and is committed to academic excellence. The recipient will receive a four-year scholarship, paid in equal amounts per semester, totaling $20,000.

The application period for this scholarship ended April 14, 2024.