Kirkcaldy mum funds scholarship in memory of her son

Jackie Rowan with the first recipient is 4th year Computer Arts student, Becka Clark
Jackie Rowan with the first recipient is 4th year Computer Arts student, Becka Clark

A mum from Kirkcaldy has created a scholarship at Abertay University in memory of her late son.

Jackie Rowan’s son, Jody Gallagher, a talented video games artist and college lecturer, passed away in March. He was just 36 years old.

He had struggled to cope following the death of his younger brother, Robert, from heart failure just months earlier.

Jackie said: “I wanted to do something to keep Jody’s name out there.

“He had a huge passion for art from an early age, and a drive to pursue it as a career.

“When he was eleven years old he got his first computer, and although he played games he wanted to look deeper into what made them work.”

Jody studied at Abertay in the early 2000s, and his mum said his time there had been very important to him.

“He’d been able to meet people who shared his passion and work with tutors who treated students as their equals,” she said.

“I wanted to create the scholarship to help someone who had the same passion for computer arts and desire to do well that Jody did.”

You may also be interested in:

Axed Kirkcaldy SNP election candidate’s crowdfunder campaign soars

Man dies after being hit by van

Fife’s football teams back police Christmas safety campaign

Jackie launched a fundraising drive which has raised almost £3000 of its £5000 target to date, pulling in donations from Jody’s friends, family and work colleagues as well as complete strangers.

The total also includes £305 raised at Jody’s funeral.

Jackie added: “We had already been raising funds in Robert’s name for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, and as a parent I wanted to do something for Jody.

“We’ve been holding joined fundraising events, and this is something we’ll continue to do.”

The first scholarship will go to fourth year Computer Arts student, Becka Clark.

She said: “It means a lot to me – this will make a huge difference to me as I move forward with my studies.”

Dayna Galloway, head of division of games and arts at Abertay said: “Jody was a much-loved member of the Dundee games community, and I would like to thank Jackie for this generous and meaningful scholarship.

“It’s important to acknowledge just how hard she has worked to make it a reality. Her tireless drive to help people in the name of both Jody and Robert is nothing short of inspiring.”

To donate to the Jody Gallagher Scholarship fund, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jodygallagher

To find out more about Cardiac Risk in the Young or to make a donation, visit: https://www.c-r-y.org.uk/