Sian McLaughlin | @OurSyracuseU

Sian McLaughlin is a first year student and is a Lockerbie Scholar from Lockerbie, Scotland.

Each year two students from Lockerbie, Scotland are selected to study in Syracuse for a year and represent the Lockerbie 11, and SU’s commitment to Remembrance.

On campus for only a few months so far, Sian is already involved with Ottothon, First Year Players, and the Shanti Yoga Club. In class, she’s studying scuba diving, figure sculpture, fiction writing, human sexuality and Latin.

Morning SU! My name is Sian McLaughlin and I’m a Lockerbie Scholar from Scotland. I’m here with a fellow scholar to study for one freshman year, to experience SU and work with the 35 Remembrance Scholars here. I’m here in honor of the victims of the Pan Am 103 flight which was bombed over my hometown, Lockerbie, on the Christmas of 1988. The plane carried 259 passengers, 35 of which were Syracuse students travelling back from a semester abroad. The plane fell upon my town, and we lost 11 of our residents. This scholarship is a meaningful and once in a lifetime opportunity for me, so I’m really excited to share my experience of our Remembrance Week and my other participation on campus. Check out @OurSyracuseU this week to learn more about why I’m here and what I do here! Meanwhile, here’s a picture of myself and Shona Beattie the day we were selected for the scholarships.

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What is your favorite thing/part about SU?

My favorite thing about SU is the spirit – whether I’m meeting new people, spending time with friends, or going to a game, the Syracuse spirit is so evident and uniting for students. I find this heartwarming as an international student, and feel it makes meeting new people all the more easy and exciting.

If you could tell a new or incoming student just ONE thing about SU, what it would be?

Never let there be an awkward silence – fill it, speak to people you don’t know and be outgoing. You never know who you’ll meet or who they’ll become to you. Also, first impressions are almost always wrong.

What is your favorite class to date?

I find it hard to choose, but I particularly love my Fiction Class because it’s a workshop, so it’s about working as a team to help one another build on a personal hobby. I also love Scuba because it’s challenging but rewarding.

What does it mean to you to be a Lockerbie Scholar and to be here in Syracuse?

It is still hard to fully comprehend that I have been selected to study in a place which once lost 35 of its students to the same tragedy that cost my hometown 11 residents – and much more. The communities of Lockerbie and Syracuse united in pain, and from this have become stronger than they were before; to be a part of this is really special to me and an opportunity for me to not only experience this community with which my hometown has bonded with all my life, but to help bring justice to the victims of the disaster and learn of who we lost that night. Working with the Remembrance Scholars to express the passion we share for looking back on the victims’ lives and acting forward in their memory, is really heartwarming. I am so lucky to be welcomed by SU from all the way across the Atlantic, and to witness how much the community here cares for my hometown. Being among now 52 young people from Lockerbie who have become part of both communities really shows, despite the horrendous acts of terrorism, the ability people have to grow stronger when united.


Being among now 52 young people from Lockerbie who have studied in at SU over the past 26 years is a massive privilege – becoming part of both communities really shows, despite the horrendous acts of terrorism, the ability people have to grow stronger when united. Andrew McClune, a Lockerbie scholar in 2002, had the same privilege and shared the same passion for Remembrance as Shona and I do. Andrew’s life was cut short during his time here, and so in memory of the outgoing and positive person he was, we continue not only to remember the 11 lives lost in Lockerbie, but the fellow Lockerbie scholar who was also dedicated to remembering them and was taken from us too early. Join us at the Rose Laying Ceremony tomorrow at 2.03pm (the time of the disaster, US time), where we will remember each of the victims for who they were, as well as Andrew McClune. #SURemembrance2016

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