By Madeleine Horton
A donation received by Durham University will be used to create a scholarship for prospective students from the County Durham area.
For those in need of financial assistance, the Brian Cooper Scholarship Fund will award an annual scholarship to help meet the costs of tuition fees and living expenses.
University officials were delighted with the windfall, which will provide much-needed relief for locals requiring financial assistance during their further education studies.
Vice-Chancellor and Warden at Durham University, Professor Stuart Corbridge, stated: “The Scholarship has been established in memory of Brian Cooper, a local man who showed great determination and seized the opportunity to develop his skills. We are delighted that the family of Mr Cooper chose to work with Durham University to establish this gift.
“The Scholarship perfectly complements the existing work that the University is undertaking to attract talented students from the region to study at Durham. They could not be more welcome here, at the University which lies in the heart of their county.
“We look forward to receiving enquiries from local prospective students about the scholarship and about studying at Durham University.”
The funds were donated by Claire and Tony Pringle in memory of Claire’s father, Brian Cooper.
The late Mr Cooper worked his way from employment at Horden colliery to eventually become Human Resources Manager at The Northumbrian Water Authority, and was later instrumental in creating the sponsorship of an MBA at Durham University.
Claire Pringle said: “Whilst my dad never patted himself on the back for his achievements, my brother and I are extremely proud of him.
“He never had the opportunity to go to university but encouraged my brother and I to do so, which we did, with his full support.
“Because of my Dad’s background, I am eager to support young people from the local area who, because of financial restraints, would probably not consider university as an option, let alone a university as prestigious as Durham.”
Photograph: Maddie Flisher