Harding University has unveiled a memorial in honor of Botham Jean, who was shot by an off-duty Dallas police officer in his apartment on Sept. 6, 2018.
Jean was shot by a former Dallas Police Department officer, Amber Guyger. Guyger claimed she thought she was entering her apartment and mistook Jean for an intruder. Guyger was later found guilty of murder in Jean’s death, and she is now serving a ten-year prison sentence.
Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, unveiled the memorial on what would have been Jean’s thirtieth birthday. Jean graduated from the university in 2016.
The Botham Shem Jean Memorial was unveiled on the university’s campus on Wednesday, Sept. 29, by Harding University Executive Vice President Dr. David Collins and Jean’s brother.
Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, is now a student at Harding University. He told The Daily Citizen that the gesture surprised him, and he was grateful for it.
“I know how much it costs to have this,” Brandt said, “not just financially but systematically. I know how much someone would have to represent just to be able to have this, so it’s truly an honor.”
Acting Harding President Dr. David Burks said it was significant and intentional for the university to unveil the memorial on what would have been Jean’s thirtieth birthday.
“All of us have many memories of his time, but especially with the family,” Burks said. “We have very special memories of his life.”
Burks added that the memorial bore an image of Jean and his legendary smile.
Burks added the memorial was dedicated to students who lived in St. Lucia. Jean was a native of St. Lucia, a Caribbean island nation, and Jean had hoped to become its prime minister one day.
Burks said Jean would be remembered on the university campus for generations to come.