After 10 years, a piece of the Andrew Moffitt Memorial Scholarship is finally coming home to Brockville.
The scholarship, named for a young Brockville man and University
of Ottawa computer engineering student who was murdered in December
1998, has been presented each year since 2001 to multiple recipients.
engineering students at the university, but none from Brockville to
date, have received scholarships worth $1,000 to $3,000 since they were
This year, however, Brockville's Nick Sirmas joined Oleg Romanov as
$1,000 recipients of the scholarship, funded from the interest off a
core amount of $158,000.
The 21-year-old son of Steve and Alice Sirmas and younger
brother of Jim said he was honoured when his application for the
scholarship was approved.
Nick Sirmas has a university entrance scholarship worth $3,500 every year, as well as other awards that come with cash grants.
But the Moffitt scholarship bears special merit, he said.
"It's probably the most important," Sirmas told the Recorder and Times during an interview in Brockville this week.
Sirmas said the connection to Brockville makes the award special
as a way to remember a promising engineering student whose future was
cut tragically short.
In his application, Sirmas wrote a 500-word essay about Andy Moffitt and his interests.
Moffitt's aptitude for engineering, his love of family and interest in sports are areas Sirmas said they have in common.
Sirmas said he well remembers the tragic news of Moffitt's Dec. 23,
1998 killing when it reverberated in the community.
Sirmas will graduate in December and expects to return to complete a master's degree.
He's keeping his options open but is considering concentrating on aerodynamics.
"I'm taking it one step at a time," he said.
Andrew Moffitt was the middle son of Rod and Paulette Moffitt.
His brothers are Rod Jr., an engineer who also studied at Ottawa U.,
Paulette Moffitt said she is grateful to see the scholarship awarded to a Brockville student.
"It's very touching to have someone from Brockville," she said.
"Every year I wished somebody from Brockville would win and I'm very happy somebody finally did."
Moffitt said the scholarship is a way to perpetuate her son's memory "so Andy can reach out to so many more people."
"Even though it's been 11 years, it's still feels like it was yesterday."
She said it's important not to dwell on the tragedy and to find ways such as the scholarship to create something positive.
She said the scholarship is the largest private fund at the university.
Interest from the base amount covers the cost of the
scholarships and accounts for the fluctuations in the number of
recipients from year to year, she said.
Information is available at www.andymoffitt.org.
Article ID# 2548836