Staff and students joined a flood of tributes to Owen Copland who died on Christmas Day after a long battle with a brain tumour.
Owen, who joined us in the Drama department in September 2018 rapidly made his mark with both his peers and staff with and his natural charm and warm smile.
One of our tutors recalls: “Owen was a young man who I will never forget. The first time I met him was when he walked into my improvisation class as a first year, tall, a mop of curly hair and smile that crept across his face. We did a brief getting to know you exercise and I immediately knew he was going to be fun, the answers he gave where memorable and made myself and the rest of the class giggle. As I got to know Owen I discovered we also shared the same passion for Star Wars a good thing in my book.”
Later that year even as we went into lockdown project work went ahead online. His project director noted: “A kind, diligent, and remarkably likeable person, Owen was part of a group I taught for a first-year production module where the group became firm friends. In the rehearsal room he brought a mature commitment and positive energy to whatever was asked. In the breaks he was engaging and thoughtful to speak with, and was rarely without a smile or laugh. I shall always think of him appreciatively for having known him, as I know will his peers who cared deeply for him.”
Dr Nick Phillips, Programme Leader in Drama, said: "Owen was incredibly well thought of by staff and his peers, he was effortlessly likeable, intelligent and good company. This became abundantly clear when he became ill at the end of the first semester of his final year when his peers immediately started to fundraise in conjunction with Owen’s family. The effort was something to behold – a sign of someone who was truly loved.
"We are thankful that we were able to celebrate his academic achievements with the awarding of his degree in time for his 21st Birthday. He will be missed by myself, my colleagues in Drama, his peers and all his LJMU family."
Picture: Owen on the back row fourth from the left with his project group. Image courtesy of Teri Howson-Griffiths.