College of Business Receives New Scholarship Endowment from the Hirning Family
By Kelsey West | January 19, 2021
The Idaho State University College of Business is excited to announce their newest scholarship established by accounting alumnus, Kelly Hirning, his wife Kimberly and his father, Art Hirning, the owners of Hirning Buick GMC in Pocatello. The family founded the “Hirning Family Excellence in Accounting Scholarship Endowment” to help support students pursuing the accounting major.
Kelly said he became interested in the endowment program after Dean, Dr. Shane Hunt set up his scholarship in honor of his parents, Loren and Debbie Pilgrim. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to create a permanent endowment that will provide a scholarship for deserving students year after year,” said Kelly. “Our goal is to help promising students complete their education who may not have been able to without this scholarship, making a positive impact on their lives and future.”
Kelly, who graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1984, said he has been inspired by the successes of first-generation college students like Idaho State President Kevin Satterlee and Hunt. “When President Satterlee and Dr. Shane Hunt talk about being the first in their families to get a college education and you look at the great successes they have had, the idea that this endowment may make that kind of a difference in someone’s life in the future is both exciting and humbling.”
After graduating from Idaho State, Kelly accepted a position with the Big Four accounting firm, Deloitte working in both the Phoenix and Denver offices. In 1991, Kelly returned to Pocatello to work for his father at the dealership he runs today.
“My experience at Idaho State and the accounting education I received, along with the strong work ethic taught to me by my parents, are the keys to any of the success I’ve had,” said Kelly.
Kelly has been an advocate of the University for many years, participating annually in the I Love ISU scholarship campaign, donating funding for two permanent seats at the Stephens Performing Arts Center and continued participation in the Idaho State Coaches Car Program. He has also been a member of the College of Business’s Advisory Board since 2016.
Kelly has been involved as a board member to a number of programs in the community throughout the years as well. He served as a board member, treasurer, vice president and president of United Way Southeast Idaho for four years as well as an executive council board member for the Boy Scouts of America – Grand Teton Council. Hirning also served as a board member, treasurer, vice chairman and chairman of Portneuf Medical Center for eight years.
Kelly has been married for 35 years and has four children, Chris, Sarah, Ashley and Anna.