New award honours PR grad Maggie McFarlane

New award honours PR grad Maggie McFarlane

The late Maggie McFarlane

“Maggie loved formal education. She said she’d be happiest to stay enrolled in school forever." - Mark Lewis

Fast Fact

To learn more and donate to the Maggie McFarlane Memorial Endowment Fund, visit support.nscc.ca/PRoud or call toll-free 1-866-745-7919

Mark Lewis and Lindsay Cross at the announcement of the new memorial award during the twentieth annual Public Relations portfolio showcase

Maggie McFarlane was passionate about her family, education, and pursuing a career in public relations. Now, a bursary in her name aims to foster those values at NSCC.

“Maggie loved formal education. She said she’d be happiest to stay enrolled in school forever,” says Mark Lewis, Maggie’s widower.

A Sudbury, ON native, Maggie enrolled in the Advanced Diploma Public Relations program in pursuit of a new career, shifting gears from her previous work as a librarian and researcher.

“Maggie was a devoted mother and wife,” he says. “She joked that she would leave her kids with a fully stocked library, and she did. There’s a room in the house that’s now lined with bookshelves.”

According to Mark, though busy with their three-year-old daughter and 18-month-year-old son, Maggie excelled in her studies while continuing to put her family first. She won the highest academic standing award in her class.

Maggie’s classmates describe her as a nurturing figure and a natural mentor. “She was witty, sarcastic and wildly intelligent,” says Tamara Freeman.

Maggie put those attributes to use at the IWK Foundation where she hoped to continue to make a difference following her work term placement.

Mark adds, “Maggie found her calling in public relations. She was very happy working in non-profit and raising funds for the children’s hospital was especially near to her heart.”

Maggie fell ill shortly after graduating in 2014 and died in September 2015.

A lasting legacy

The Maggie McFarlane Memorial Endowment Fund was announced during the annual portfolio showcase organized by the 2018 graduating Public Relations class. This year celebrated 20 years of the program.

When Lindsay Cross, NSCC Public Relations alum and Director of Marketing and Strategy at CUA (Credit Union Atlantic), was named guest speaker for the showcase, she wondered how to leverage the opportunity to further connect program alumni and create a shared sense of purpose.

After hearing Maggie’s story, Lindsay knew she wanted to spearhead the scholarship fund. The goal of the fund is to reach $22,000 to enable a $1,000 annual award to a Public Relations student.

“Maggie’s story reminded me how lucky we are to do what we do for our organizations and communities,” says Lindsay. “She was passionate about using her craft to make a difference, and so I wanted to do the same in her honour.”

“I’d like to see the award go to someone like Maggie, who excels academically and is maybe making a career change,” says Mark. “Financial support to any student in her name is going to make me very happy.”

10/05/18

“Maggie loved formal education. She said she’d be happiest to stay enrolled in school forever." - Mark Lewis

Fast Fact

To learn more and donate to the Maggie McFarlane Memorial Endowment Fund, visit support.nscc.ca/PRoud or call toll-free 1-866-745-7919

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