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Johnny O'Brien

Author of "Semisweet: An Orphan's Journey Through the School the Hersheys Built"

Thursday, May 16 at 6:00pm


We would appreciate an RSVP for the benefit of attaining a headcount. To register your intent to attend, please click the button. We also encourage you to consider an admission donation of $5.00. Thank you.

Special for members, Hershey Estates exhibit Open House honoring J. Bruce McKinney following the program.  

Featured Speaker - Johnny O'Brien

The Milton Hershey School is the richest and wealthiest K-12 residential school in the world. Its $12 billion trust fund, financed by sales of the iconic Hershey candy, eclipses that of Cornell, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins combined. Even more stunning is that the school for orphans owns The Hershey Company and not the other way around.

As the twentieth-century drew to a close, the School’s Board of Managers creatively interpreted the Founder’s mission and tried to turn the refuge for extremely needy children into more of a middle-class boarding school. The alumni “Homeguys” challenged the Board and, after a decade of legal struggle and national publicity, won the battle to reclaim the soul of the school.

Johnny O’Brien, an orphan who lived at the school growing up, helped to lead the successful alumni protest. In a shocking turn of events, he was then selected to become Milton Hershey School’s eighth president and tasked with restoring the mission, morale, and character-building culture of “the Home.” He would need all his orphan resilience, Princeton and Johns Hopkins wisdom, and his good friends, to transform this unusual and remarkable school.
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