A new award has been created at Aberdeen University to honour the legacy of a student who took her own life following an abusive relationship.
The new award will recognise students who have gone over and above in the support of a friend or fellow student.
Law student Emily Drouet, 18, was found dead in her halls of residence in March 2016.
Former boyfriend Angus Milligan was later convicted of physically and verbally abusing her and was subsequently expelled from the university.
Working closely with Emily’s family, the university will honour Emily through a legacy programme and, as part of this, have launched the Emily Drouet Award.
The award recipient will be named at the annual Principal’s Excellence awards.
Sponsored by the University of Aberdeen Development Trust and Emily’s parents, Fiona and Germain Drouet, the award will be given out annually for the next five years.
In addition to the Emily Drouet Award, an annual paid student-internship will also be created.
This internship will give a student the opportunity to contribute to the work of the student support team, and to investigate new services the university could offer.
The university will also introduce a paid student research project, giving an undergraduate student the opportunity to complete a summer research placement focusing on gender-based violence and student-related suicide.
Nick Edwards, head of student support at Aberdeen University, said: “It has been an honour to work with Fiona and Germain and we are extremely grateful of the support they have shown us.
“We wanted to do something to honour Emily that would also encapsulate her kind and loving nature and we hope that the Emily Drouet Award will do just that.
“Emily was a very compassionate, kind and caring young woman and it is these qualities that we are celebrating in the Emily Drouet Award.
“We haven’t yet finalised all the details regarding the student research project, however we wanted to explore these topics further in conjunction with EmilyTest, the charity set up by Fiona to tackle gender-based violence in education.”
Emily’s mother Fiona Drouet said: “Although nothing can bring Emily back or change what happened, we are delighted that Emily’s legacy will be one of kindness.
“It is a bittersweet moment for us but Emily radiated kindness and compassion and she would be so honoured to be remembered in this way.
“There are quite rightly many awards for academic achievement, but we felt Emily’s award should reflect her core values and Emily was kindness personified.
“She would never stand back if someone was in need of help. We are hoping that the award process will be uplifting as we learn how students have made a difference in their communities – we are sure Emily will be as proud as we are.
“The one gift we all possess is the ability to be kind and we may never know how big a difference that can make in someone else’s life – kindness is free, we only run out of it if we choose to.”
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