Parents start memorial scholarship in honor of nursing student

Junior nursing major Amanda Bebout’s parents hope that a newly established scholarship in her memory will help others fulfill their daughter’s dreams, the student’s mother said.

“This is a horrible tragedy…but we have a ray of hope, and if it’s having a scholarship for other students at TCU, then that is wonderful,” said Sharon Bebout, Amanda Bebout’s mother.

Sharon Bebout said her family was told by the university that the scholarship would be endowed if it reaches $50,000. However, she said the family will wait after her daughter’s funeral to iron out the details for the new scholarship.

Amanda Bebout, a 20-year-old student from California, was found dead at her off-campus residence Monday night. Her funeral services will take place in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she will be buried with her grandparents, Sharon Bebout said.

DeVonna Tinney, development director of the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said the scholarship will be available for students in the nursing program. Tinney said there have been several calls inquiring about donations.

“We will give the parents the option to make it an endowment,” Tinney said.

Students may also make donations in person at Tinney’s office in Bass Hall 229, she said.

Sharon Bebout said the campus community’s response to the scholarship was “a blessing,” and she said she thinks many of the people who were close to her daughter in California will also contribute because they know nursing was her passion.

“Amanda’s calling was to help people, and nursing was how she was going to do it,” she said.

Sharon Bebout said that for spring break, Amanda Bebout traveled to Swaziland in Africa through the nonprofit Fort Worth Sister Cities International, which promotes relationships between U.S. citizens and those of other countries. During the winter break, the family volunteered at a women’s homeless shelter, Sharon Bebout said. Her daughter was considering joining the Peace Corps after graduation, she said.

Amanda Bebout was also a star swimmer at Tesoro High School in Orange County.

“She still holds the school record,” Sharon Bebout said. “She was, as everybody would always tell me, ‘She’s so humble; nobody knows.'”

The university will hold a memorial service in honor of Bebout at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Robert Carr Chapel.

Sharon Bebout, her husband, Don, and daughter Kelsey won’t be able to attend the campus memorial but are sending a letter to be read at the service and pictures, Sharon Bebout said. The family will hold a service in California on Monday, she said.

“Amanda loved TCU, so we want to keep that going,” Sharon Bebout said.

The family will travel to Fort Worth next week to get their daughter’s belongings and meet with her friends, Sharon Bebout said.
“There’s so much of Amanda’s life that I’m going to miss, you know, she was 20 years old; she had a lot going, and I hope I can stay in contact with some of her close friends and that they remember her,” she said.

Vice Chancellor of University Advancement Don Whelan was unavailable for comment.

Toxicology results for Amanda Bebout are pending, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, but police said this week that the investigation has shown the death is “a likely suicide.” Until police receive the results from the Medical Examiner’s Office, the investigation is ongoing, said Sgt. Chad Mahaffey, Fort Worth Police public information officer.

(Staff reporter Bethany McDougle contributed to this report.)





Amanda Bebout Memorial Service

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Robert Carr Chapel

Parking: Lot behind the chapel or at the corner of West Cantey Street and South University Drive.





Scholarship donations may be made to:

Texas Christian University – Office of University Advancement

The Amanda Bebout Memorial Scholarship Fund

TCU Box 297044

Fort Worth, TX 76129