Botham Jean Honored with Memorial at Harding University

A public ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Botham Jean
Photo courtesy of Harding University.

Harding University will remember and honor the life of Botham Jean by unveiling a memorial bearing his image in front of the David B. Burks American Heritage Building on its Searcy campus. A dedication ceremony will be held on what would have been Jean’s birthday — Sept. 29 — at 1 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public.

Jean was a 2016 alumnus from St. Lucia who was killed Sept. 6, 2018 by an off-duty police officer at his Dallas home. During his time at Harding, he was a member of the Good News Singers, a resident assistant, an intern for the Rock House campus ministry and a leader in Sub T-16 men’s social club. Jean frequently led worship during daily chapel services and other campus events. He was well known for his charismatic and powerful song leading, according to a press release.  

“Botham was a unique and influential leader on our campus,” President David Burks said. “I loved his smile, the way he led singing in chapel and at church, and his enthusiasm for life. I believe that the memorial will help generations to come remember Botham Jean and his Christlike influence.” 

In addition to the monument, two scholarships were established in 2019 and are given annually in memory of Jean. The Botham Jean Memorial, created by Jean’s parents Bertrum and Allison Jean, is given to students who have lived in the Caribbean. A second scholarship established by the Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration, in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Jean’s employer, is given to historically underrepresented populations as they pursue degrees within the College of Business.

Earlier this month, officials announced that Trisah Magdu, a junior from Norton, Zimbabwe, is the 2021-22 recipient of the Botham Jean Business Scholarship. Previous recipients Trinity Bolden, a sophomore from Searcy, Ark.; Rollansky Daraote, a junior from North Miami, Fla.; and Brittany Tate, a senior from San Diego, will continue to receive the scholarship through graduation. All four students are studying accounting.

“This scholarship is aimed at honoring Botham’s life and enhancing his legacy to even greater heights,” said Allen Frazier, dean of the College of Business Administration. “The students chosen demonstrate the qualities PwC asked us to look for — leadership, diligence, demonstrated capability and financial need. The College of Business is grateful to be a part of honoring Botham’s legacy, and I am confident these students will do the same.”

After graduation, Jean moved to Dallas where he was hired by PwC following an internship with the company. PwC initially established the scholarship fund with a gift of $50,000. Through personal contributions from PwC partners and staff and the PwC Matching Gift Program, it has grown to more than $800,000 as of June 30, 2021.