Skip to main content

Couple with more than 60 years of service to ASU establish student scholarships

Ken Hollin and Michelle Brown-Hollin retiring in May from work at Barrett, The Honors College

May 03, 2024

Ken Hollin and Michelle Brown-Hollin met, worked together and married each other at Arizona State University. Now, they will both retire in May after serving the university for many years.

Together, they have a combined total of almost 65 years of service to ASU.

They have established two scholarships for ASU students as a way to give back to the university they feel gave much to them. It is planned for the Michelle Brown-Hollin Scholarship and the Ken Hollin Scholarship to be endowed and accept applications from students this fall.

Photo of Ken Hollin and Michelle Brown-Hollin
Ken Hollin and Michelle Brown-Hollin. Photo courtesy of Michelle Brown-Hollin

In 1982, Ken began working for the Educational Opportunity Center, a federally funded program administered by ASU, where he assisted low-income, minority and first-generation collegebound students. He later became a counselor with the ASU Minority Recruitment Office, which merged into ASU Undergraduate Admissions. In 2012, he became an academic advisor at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU.

Altogether, Ken served underrepresented students at ASU for 41 years. He assisted in the establishment of the Maroon and Gold Scholarship and was involved with the administration of Early Outreach and FOCUS programs for over 3,500 annual visitors from elementary and high schools.

Michelle started as an ASU admissions representative in 1999 and transitioned to a position as the only recruiter for Barrett, The Honors College in 2006. There are now 10 recruiters serving Barrett,  and Michelle is Barrett’s director of recruitment.

They met 25 years ago while working together in ASU’s Undergraduate Admissions Office and were married at Danforth Chapel on the Tempe campus in 2002.

“A friendship grew from the respect we had for each other and our shared goal of providing guidance to students to help them achieve their educational goals so that they could make a positive impact on others and the world,” Michelle said.

The Michelle Brown-Hollin Scholarship at Barrett Honors College

This fund will provide scholarship support for incoming first-year students enrolled in Barrett, The Honors College. Preference will be given to students who have been named out-of-state National Rural and Small-Town Recognition Awardees by the College Board.

“Getting a college education was always encouraged by my parents. They were blue-collar workers, so finding ways to subsidize college was important. I had to work through college and take out student loans. Now that I am in a place to give back, I wanted to do so,” said Michelle, who is from Jonesboro, Illinois.

“To me, education is a gift you give yourself that no one can take away. I love helping students achieve their dreams of getting a college degree.”

The Ken Hollin Scholarship at ASU

This scholarship will benefit students who transfer from Arizona Western College to ASU.

Ken was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, and attended AWC from 1966 to 1968. He served as AWC student body president before transferring to ASU; he was the first African American student body president of any college or university in the state of Arizona.

“Both of my parents stressed the importance of a college education to myself and my two older siblings beginning at a very young age. We understood what was expected of us, and we set our goals accordingly,” he said.

“When I transferred from AWC to ASU, there were not too many scholarships available for transfer students. This remained the case during my professional career as a recruiter for ASU. I wanted to establish this scholarship to provide financial assistance for students from my hometown and alma mater.”

Ken and Michelle are proud to have served ASU for many years, but are looking forward to what lies ahead.

“ASU and Barrett Honors College have been such a big part of our lives, both personally and professionally, but it’s time that we move on to the next part of our life’s journey together,” Michelle said.   

“Professionally, we both have grown immensely as we have served in the capacities of recruiting and advising Barrett students. Personally, we have developed lifelong friendships with staff, faculty, parents and, most, importantly, the students.”

Ken added, “ASU and Barrett Honors College will always hold a special place in our hearts. The relationships we have developed over the years and the people we have met have touched our lives in remarkable ways.”

More University news


Man working with machinery on the deck of a boat.

ASU offers degrees to shape thriving ocean futures

Nearly half of the world’s population lives within 200 km of a coastline and depends on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. In fact, the blue (or ocean) economy is a rapidly…

Photo of 2024 FUKSI winner Jack Hinrichs

ASU honors student to study in Scotland under prestigious Fulbright Summer Institutes program

The Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement has announced that John “Jack” Hinrichs, a first-year economics major in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, has…

Professor with students points to map in lab

ASU in top 1% of international university ranking list

Arizona State University has been ranked in the top 1% of nearly 21,000 universities worldwide for education, employability, faculty and research, according to the 2024 edition of the Global 2000…