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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 14, 2012

Scholarship established in memory of student killed in car crash

Abby Cockrill

Abby Cockrill

A memorial scholarship has been established for a Northwest Missouri State University student killed by a drunken driver in August 2010.

Abby Cockrill, 22, was majoring in early childhood elementary education and student teaching in Platte City in addition to serving as a youth minister. She was on track to graduate with honors from Northwest when her life tragically ended.

Her parents, Pat and Diana Cockrill of Platte City, have recently created the Abby Leigh Cockrill Memorial Foundation Scholarship through the Northwest Foundation in her memory. The scholarship recipients must be juniors or seniors at Northwest majoring in elementary education, with priority given to students involved in Greek life.

“Abby’s spirit and enthusiasm was a joyous inspiration to everyone who knew her,” said Dr. Barbara Crossland, associate professor of curriculum and instruction. “It’s wonderful that this scholarship will honor her memory.”

“Abby was a perfect model of our enthusiastic, committed future teachers,” said Dr. Margaret Drew, professor of curriculum and instruction.

Cockrill was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority where she had served as parliamentarian, was in charge of their overall Homecoming for two years and served as a Gamma Chi for two years, helping mentor and guide ladies going through recruitment. She also was selected to the Order of Omega, a Greek honor society.

Cockrill participated in the annual BRUSH (Beautifying Residences Using Student Help) projects on campus and in the community, contributed to the Ministry Center Food Drive Campaign, raised funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, assisted with residential life programming and facilitated residential spirituality nights.

In addition, she was on the President’s Honor Roll, was a member of Tower Choir her freshman year and was a member of the Cardinal Key National Honor Society, where she helped in events to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She volunteered and supported Special Olympics, participated in Kids Corner, where she read books to children and those in hospitals, and read to children at Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School.

“Abby was a true leader who had the ability to inspire others to be better people and to give back to their community,” said her mother, Diana Cockrill. “Ever since she was a young girl, she wanted to teach and make a difference in the lives of children. She had a passion for working with children and youth and the enthusiasm to be a wonderful teacher. Abby truly loved to live and lived to love.”

For more information about the Abby Leigh Cockrill Memorial Foundation Scholarship or other giving opportunities through the Northwest Foundation, contact Teresa Gustafson at 660.562.1248 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468