Remembering Bridget O'Brien '03


Published Apr 14, 2008 11:52 AM

Photo by Kristy Milliken

Bridget O'Brien '03, a talented young photojournalist who died in a car accident last October, will be memorialized in a new scholarship fund. The Bridget O'Brien Daily Bruin Scholarship Fund, administered by the Student Media Foundation, will support student journalists at Bridget's alma mater, the UCLA Daily Bruin, in reporting on stories that are above and beyond the resources of a student newspaper.

O'Brien majored in geography at UCLA and worked as a copy editor, reporter, photographer and photo editor for the Daily Bruin. She won numerous state and national photography awards and was voted Most Valuable Staff Member for two years in a row, 2000-01 and 2001-02. Before graduating, she became a campus legend by living mostly out of her 1988 Toyota pickup, foregoing the relative comfort of an apartment in Westwood in order to save money for travel.

In Central America, she reported on the fair trade coffee movement while living with coffee farmers. The story was published in USA Today and The Bruin. In her professional career, she covered a gamut of events and issues all over the globe as a freelance photographer for Newsday and the New York Times.

Contribute to the scholarship fund at the Web site.

On the morning of Thursday, October 18, 2007, Bridget and her husband, Hayden Sweeney, died in a car accident when she swerved to avoid a deer on a highway near Cleveland. She had been traveling cross-country with Hayden’s band from Australia, Electric Jellyfish, who were touring the U.S.

Obituaries appeared in the Daily Bruin and the Sacramento Bee.

— This story excerpted from the Bridget O'Brien Daily Bruin Scholarship Fund Web site.



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