Scholarship offers legacy for son's love of solar energy


Donald and Kathy McMullin start the Sean Roarke McMullin Memorial Scholarship to help others who want to find careers in the solar-energy field.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - He was a bright spirit, lively, adventuresome and extraordinarily kind.


Sean McMullin, a Northern Arizona University graduate, loved the potential of solar energy and hoped to pursue alternative energies as a business.


He passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 12, 2020, and his parents, dedicated to keeping his legacy alive, have started the Sean Roarke McMullin Memorial Scholarship through the Coconino Community College Foundation.


“I hope that it enables a student to pursue and education and be the change that this world needs as far as changing the trajectory of our climate,” said Kathy McMullin, Sean’s mother. “And beyond that lofty goal, I just hope it changes a student’s life for the better.”


Sean’s father Donald said the $1,000 scholarship will be offered to one student a year, and plans are underway to make the scholarship an “endowed scholarship,” which means that it will be given in perpetuity.


“There are so many people out there with so much to offer, they just need the opportunity,” Donald said. “We want this scholarship to help with that.”


The scholarship will be available for the Fall 2021 semester at CCC. Qualifying students must be enrolled into a degree or certificate program of Environmental Technology: Alternative Energy.


“Sean was actually working as a solar installer,” Donald said. “That’s something he wanted to pursue.”


Sean took some time off from school and worked for a member of Kathy’s family down in Yuma installing solar-energy systems.


“He was environmentally conscious,” Kathy said.  “He saw the need for it, saw the future of it, and decided it was where he wanted to be.”


He worked full time at a local solar company when he returned to NAU. He graduated in May.


When they began looking around the state for colleges that offered courses that would move students into Engineering or the solar energy fields, they discovered that CCC had one of the leading programs in the state, Donald said. He added that their son loved northern Arizona and went to school here, and they also thought it would be nice in opening up opportunities for members of the tribal nations.


Their son had touched so many lives and had helped people through difficult times – a selfless young man with a diverse group of friends who loved him with beautiful stories about him and his desire to help others and make a difference.


“That’s the main message we get from his friends and families about how kind and inclusive he was,” Kathy said.


A community college fan, Kathy said she believes more young people like Sean might want to consider a community college experience before heading to a university. A community college gives students a chance to discover and become focused.


“We’re trying to do things that carry forward his legacy,” Donald said. “We’re excited to be able to help support the future.”


Kathy added, “It’ll be good to see that we might be able to help somebody.”


For more information about the scholarships available at the CCC Foundation, visit Scholarship application season begins in mid-December and runs through mid-March.



Thursday, 19th November 2020

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  • Thursday, 19th November 2020