Botham Jean Memorial Scholarship Fund is established by his alma mater

‘Botham just embraced everyone’ Jean family talks about son

The parents of Botham Jean — Allison and Bertrum Jean — sat down with the Star-Telegram on Oct. 17 to talk about their son, who was killed by an off-duty, uniformed Dallas police officer on Sept. 6.
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The parents of Botham Jean — Allison and Bertrum Jean — sat down with the Star-Telegram on Oct. 17 to talk about their son, who was killed by an off-duty, uniformed Dallas police officer on Sept. 6.

The man who was killed in his apartment by a Dallas Police officer in September will be honored with a scholarship by his alma mater.

Harding University in Arkansas announced on Tuesday that it has established the Botham Jean Memorial Scholarship Fund. The university has partnered with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where Jean worked in Dallas.

Jean graduated from Harding University in 2016.

After his death, classmates posted their memories of Jean from their time at Harding.

“I always saw Botham around campus,” Amy Johnson said on Twitter. “He always wanted to lead in chapel in whatever way he could. He was always so nice and so kind. He was definitely a light at Harding — one who I could never forget. Prayers for his family and friends.”

Grant Smith, another classmate, said Jean was “a great Christian example and an inspiration to us all.”

While in school, Jean was a member of the Good News Singers, he was a resident assistant, an intern for the Rock House campus ministry and a leader in Sub T-16 men’s social club, the university said.

On April 9, 2014, Jean uploaded a video on YouTube during his campaign to be the university’s student association president.

“My whole platform has been to initiate a forum where students can talk freely and can express their views freely in a positive way,” he says in the video. “I think this whole concept of opening doors between faculty and students, I think that is gonna have a significant impact on all students on campus because they can now express what they feel and we can use that to develop plans and initiatives that are going to affect their lives.”

Jean said his ability to unify and motivate his classmates set him apart from his three opponents.

Asked why he wanted to be student association president, Jean said, “I want to serve. My heart and experience has led me to serve. I want every student at Harding to have the best Harding experience possible and go on to accomplish all of their dreams.”

On Sept. 6, Jean was getting ready to watch football in his apartment when then-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was still in uniform but had just finished her shift, entered his apartment and fatally shot him. According to court documents, Guyger told investigators that she thought she was in her apartment and that there was an intruder. She didn’t notice she was in the wrong apartment until she turned on the lights, the documents say.

Guyger was indicted on murder in November. A trial date has not yet been set.

According to the Ark Times, Harding University President Brice McLarty said, “The tragic death of Botham Jean has been the most defining event of this school year. He was so widely known and deeply loved that the announcement that he had been killed profoundly shook our entire campus. Since the moment we received the tragic news, there has been a strong desire across the University to honor Botham. A memorial scholarship in Botham’s honor is a perfect example of good coming from something evil and hope emerging from deep loss.”

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Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Star-Telegram. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.