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Abby Leigh Cockrill

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 when she was killed by a drunken driver on August 2010. 

Her parents, Pat and Diana Cockrill of Platte City, 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 were a joyous inspiration to everyone who knew her,” said Dr. Barbara Crossland, former 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, former 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.”
Scholarships associated with Abby Leigh Cockrill
  • Abby Leigh Cockrill Memorial Scholarship