Photos: Josh Steed receives diploma from Dr. Lanny Hall, HSU president; Steed with friend, Stormi James, Jessica Allen and Jacob Allen
“My good friend Jacob Allen was shot in the head with a .38 caliber handgun on September 7, 2011, while we were working together at a local apartment complex,” wrote Josh Steed in a letter sent out to friends and family members this past September.
Just days after Hardin-Simmons University student Josh Steed was notified this past December that he was one of 18 people in the United States to be honored for valor by the Carnegie Foundation, Steed notified his friend, fellow student, and former co-worker, Jacob Allen, that a scholarship to honor him had been established in his name, the Jacob B. Allen Endowed Scholarship.
Jacob Allen, a senior business major from Brownwood, and Steed, a junior business major from San Angelo, were on duty at the front desk just after 5:00 p.m. when the gunman walked into the apartment complex office. According to police, a 70-year-old male resident of the apartment complex began firing numerous shots at the two students.
Jacob was struck once in the head and once in the leg. Meanwhile, Steed subdued the assailant with a blow from a nearby chair. Police say Steed retrieved the gun and hid it behind the office after disabling the gunman. Steed then called 9-11 for police and medical help.
For that action, Steed received word last month that he was being honored with a medal of valor from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
About five months ago, Josh Steed approached HSU president, Dr. Lanny Hall, about setting up a scholarship in Jacob’s name. “Josh provided a mailing list, and we sent a mass mailing to more than 200 people,” says Cheryl Purcell, assistant vice president for advancement at HSU. “Those on the mailing list were HSU classmates of Jacob and Josh, as well as friends and family members.”
When Josh’s letters went out, friends and family, HSU alums and classmates, responded to his powerful story with a quick and generous deluge to completely fund the scholarship in just a matter of months.
Josh wrote, “Jacob and I both know that God was at work in his life through the shooting and his recovery. For the past year, I’ve thought about doing something special to pay tribute to Jacob, but I want most of all to bring honor to God.”
Both Steed and Allen have graduated from HSU, Steed graduating magna cum laude in December 2012, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in economics and finance. He is employed at HSU as the director of Nix Residence Hall, a freshman men’s dorm, and is enrolled to work on a master’s degree. Jacob Allen lives with his wife, Jessica, in Brownwood.
The scholarship will be awarded each year to a student or students who have overcome a challenging hardship in life to be at HSU, whether through a single incident, or long-term adversity. To be eligible, a student must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and have a financial need.
Members of the Chapel Advisory Committee, in addition to Dr. John Hill, HSU professor of economics, will select the recipient. Each spring, the university chaplain will email the university’s faculty and staff to request nominations for the scholarship.
The university chaplain will send applications to all nominees to complete and return with a paragraph or two about what they have overcome. Recipients will be selected and awarded the scholarship for the following fall and spring semester. Due to the potentially sensitive nature of the hardship a student may have endured, the applications will remain confidential and not shared beyond the Chapel Advisory Committee, unless the selected recipient gives written permission to share with the university family.
Besides Steed, other Carnegie medal winners come from across the United States with one from Canada. By their efforts, people were saved from drowning, saved from burning cars, and saved after falling through ice. One policeman honored saved a woman from falling from a railroad trestle.
Read the rest of Josh’s letter:
“Jacob should have died that day, but God had other plans. Two weeks later, Jacob was back at school. He is now recovered, graduated from college, and leads a full life.”
…I’m working with Hardin-Simmons University to establish an endowed scholarship in Jacob’s name. The scholarship will be given to students who have overcome a challenging hardship in life, whether through a single incident or long-term adversity.
The desire of my heart is that God will be glorified through this scholarship. I want recipients of the scholarship to realize God has a unique plan for their lives. Since only the earnings will be given away each year, this scholarship will remain in perpetuity, impacting students for years to come.
My heart is big, but my funds are limited. However, there is strength in numbers. It’s my goal to raise $10,000 by Christmas to endow this scholarship. Whether you make a one-time gift by check or credit card, or pledge and give monthly automatic gifts, every gift matters.
You can even give online at https://connect.hsutx.edu/donate (click on the “designation” button and select Jacob B. Allen Scholarship.) For your convenience, a response form and return envelope are also enclosed, providing you with more information.
Please join me in this effort to glorify God and help students receive an education enlightened by faith.
P.S. This is a SURPRISE. Jacob is not aware of the scholarship, and I want to share the news with him at Christmas.”