A new award in memory of law student, Emily Drouet, will recognise a University of Aberdeen student who has gone over and above in the support of a friend or fellow students.
Emily was in her first year at the University when she sadly took her own life while living in Halls of Residence.
Working closely with Emily’s family, the University wants to honour Emily through a legacy programme and, as part of this, will today launch 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 focussing on gender-based violence and student related suicide.
Nick Edwards, Head of Student Support at the 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 are also keen that we are continually exploring how the University can best support the health and wellbeing of our students and the opportunity to have an intern work with our student support team is really exciting, especially as they will be exploring an idea of their own to improve student wellbeing as part of their role.
“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.”
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.”
For more information and to find out how to nominate someone for the Emily Drouet Award, see https://www.abdn.ac.uk/students/academic-life/emily-drouet-award-5099.php