Campus Life

Student Remembered With Endowed Scholarship

To honor Hannah Beth Ann Peterson and her dedication to becoming a teacher, a memorial scholarship has been set up in her name and is now open to receive contributions.
November 2, 2007

Hannah Beth Ann Peterson was finishing her master’s degree in education in the College of Education and Human Development when her life unexpectedly and tragically ended after a car accident on May 11. To honor her memory and her dedication to becoming a teacher, a memorial scholarship has been set up in her name and is now open to receive contributions.

“Hannah was an excellent teacher and one of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure to know,” said Jim McCain, co-founder of the Hannah Beth Ann Peterson ’05 Memorial Scholarship. McCain met Hannah seven years ago through a mutual friend; a teacher himself, he quickly became Hannah’s mentor and friend.

“She was an active Christian young woman with a deep faith. She set a fine example for people of all ages. She never judged people by race or ethnicity; she valued people for the content of their character.”

Hannah was an intern at Westwood High School in Palestine and was leaving work at the time of her death. While working at the high school, Hannah taught world history, U.S. history and world geography to freshman, sophomores and juniors. She also was the assistant coach for volleyball and softball. She had a global vision that led her to study in Poland, France, Italy and China where she taught English in a rural province.

“Had she not died she would have made a difference in thousands of lives-young people and adults,” said McCain. “I and my friend James Goeders wanted to establish this scholarship to keep her memory alive and to help someone with character traits like Hannah’s.”

Many of Hannah’s friends and acquaintances have made comments about how she affected their lives. McCain collected those comments and shared a few of them:

“I will always remember Hannah as one of the most generous and giving people I have met. I will never forget how she gave up time in science class at Byrd to help me understand some of the class material that was giving me trouble. She was such a great person.”

“Not only was she by far the smartest person I’ve been associated with in my life, but she was the most honest. I’ll never forget the Friday of her death; in class, we begged her and begged her to bend the rules so that we could watch Forrest Gump. Her integrity on such a small issues showed clearly.”

“In her untimely death, she teaches us that our lives are fragile, and that we must live each day the way that she did, practicing the virtues of kindness, acceptance, charity, and friendship, so that when our time comes, we too may be welcomed into eternity and celebrated by those we leave behind as positive influences on their lives.”

“Hannah’s smile could brighten any room. Her love and her caring nature were evident. Her genuine heart is what made her a great friend, daughter, sister, fiancée, and even better servant for her Lord, Jesus Christ. Even when we were in high school, Hannah was the ‘mother hen’ of the group. She healed every wound whether it was from a bad test score or a bad breakup. A hug from Hannah worked wonders when you were feeling down.”

Joyce and Randle Peterson, Hannah’s parents, her brother J. Bart Peterson, her fiancé Charles Ryan Thompson and Kimberly Nicole Leon and Kyle G. McKuhen all helped to establish this memorial scholarship.

“It is our joy and privilege to be able to invest in a young man or woman who has similar values, goals, and dreams as our daughter had,” says Joyce. “We would like for her legacy to continue and this scholarship fund is one way we can do that. If we can help one worthy student, we are honored.”

To contribute to the Hannah Beth Ann Peterson ’05 Memorial Scholarship, please send donations made payable to the Texas A&M Foundation to Susan Gulig, Director of Development for the College of Education and Human Development, 4222 TAMU, College Station, Texas, 77843-4222.

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