Harding University Unveils Botham Jean Memorial on His 30th Birthday – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
A black man who was fatally shot in his apartment by a white Dallas police officer was honored with a memorial at his alma mater on his 30th birthday.
Botham Jean – a 2016 graduate from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas – was shot dead by Officer Amber Guyger on September 6, 2018.
The Life, Death, and Legacy of Jean was the focus of an NBC 5 documentary series released earlier this year entitled Crossroads of Change: Botham’s Legacy.
The Executive Vice President of Harding University, Dr. David Collins and Jean’s brother unveiled the Botham Shem Jean Memorial on campus Wednesday.
Photos: Harding University unveils Botham Jean Memorial on his 30th birthday
“It’s actually a surprise to me and I’m grateful and grateful,” Brandt Jean told The Daily Citizen. “I know how much it costs to have this, not just financially but systematically. I know how much someone would have to represent to have this, so it’s really an honor.”
Brandt Jean is also a student at the university.
“I think it is important – and of course it was intended that we planned for today – that today would have been Botham’s 30th birthday, September 29, 2021,” said incumbent Harding President Dr. David Burks. “We all have many memories of his time, but especially with the family we have very special memories of his life.”
The memorial bears a picture of Jean and “his legendary smile,” said Burks.
Four students have so far benefited from scholarship funds set up in Jean’s name; One was founded by his parents, Bertrum and Allison Jean, and the other was founded by Paul R. Carter College of Business in partnership with Botham’s employer PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas.
Guyger had lived in the same apartment building as Jean, but one floor down. After the shooting, she said she mistakenly entered his home thinking it was her own. Said she believed Jean was an intruder into her house, she drew her gun and opened fire. She was arrested three days later and released by the police department.
Guyger was convicted of murder in the murder of Jean and is serving a 10-year prison term.
Jean had aspired to one day become Prime Minister of St. Lucia, his home island in the Caribbean, and Burks said the memorial is dedicated to students who have lived in the Caribbean.
He said Jean’s death was “truly a tragedy and we continue to pray and mourn along with all who knew and loved him,” adding that Jean will be remembered on campus for generations to come.