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NWRC Scholarship launches in memory of retired lecturer Eileen Cairns

25 February 2022
Eileen Cairns 2 landscape

Eileen was a beautiful lady, inside and out. She always had a huge smile on her face, we enjoyed the craic together and her students’ results were second to none. She was definitely one in a million.

Student's tribute to Eileen Cairns

North West Regional College (NWRC), together with the family of the late Eileen Cairns (nee McCullagh), who spent more than 30 years of her teaching career at the College, have launched a student scholarship in her memory.

Eileen Cairns, who lived outside Sion Mills, passed away on July 25th, 2020, she had Parkinson’s disease. Eileen, a native of County Tyrone had lectured in I.T. and Business Studies at NWRC. She was an immensely respected and popular educator, having spent more than three decades teaching within Strand Road and Strabane NWRC campuses.

Her death in July 2020 led to many tributes from former students who wrote in retrospect to describe Eileen both as “a wonderful teacher and friend.” One former student said: “Eileen was a beautiful lady, inside and out. She always had a huge smile on her face, we enjoyed the craic together and her students’ results were second to none. She was definitely one in a million.”

Eileen was married to Noel, had three sons: Gavyn, Ryan, and David. Eileen was also a beloved grandmother to James, Rachel, and Ella.

Eileen’s sons visited Strabane Campus recently to officially launch ‘The Eileen Cairns Scholarship’, which along with a specially engraved trophy, will carry an annual financial support compliment for the recipient to purchase technology or educational resources.

Eileen’s family said: “When Mum passed away, we were really touched by the many comments and tributes from her former students. She just had a special way when it came to communicating with students. Mum could always see the potential in people, and she loved to see her students achieve success after College. When you applied yourself and put in the work, you were good in her books.”

The family said that following Eileen’s death, they came together with NWRC and decided on the annual Scholarship Fund which will reward endeavour and accomplishment.

“We hope that our mother would be delighted that she is continuing to inspire young people after her death”, said one of Eileen’s sons.

Gillian Moss, Head of Client Services and Campus Manager of NWRC Strabane said: “This scholarship is a fitting tribute to our late colleague Eileen, given her dedication and support for NWRC Strabane. Eileen was an outstanding, teacher and educator. With Eileen’s family we see it as a wonderful legacy and a fitting way to remember someone who gave so much to others. We look forward to awarding the first recipient of The Eileen Cairns Scholarship at the end of this academic year.”

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