Sarah Betterton had a “big heart” and a “spirit of charity” – and could light up any room she walked into. Her compassion for others was real; her life was centered on helping others, a mission her family will continue in her name.
The Sarah Rebecca Betterton Memorial Scholarship will assist students pursuing a Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management degree on the Troy Campus.
“Sarah was a hard worker, dependable, cheerful and encouraging to everyone she met – especially her co-workers,” said Ibrahim Yildirim, General Manager of Sodexo Dining Services at TROY. “I miss her so much.”
Sarah graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and was employed by Sodexo in catering before moving to Florida to be closer to family and to take a position with the Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf and Spa Resort. She passed away July 20, 2021 from a brief illness.
“Sarah was a kind, genuine person who made friends with everyone she met. With her role in the catering department at TROY, she knew almost everyone on campus and built many great working and personal relationships,” said Brent Bookout, Sarah’s boyfriend. “Sarah had a big heart and a spirit of charity. She was always talking about ways she could help others because she genuinely cared.”
Bookout recalled how Betterton would visit an arcade, win a handful of tickets, and then just hand them to a child.
“She just wanted to watch the joy that ensued,” he said. “She was always doing little things for other people to make their day happier.”
To be able to help a student at TROY would have made her smile, as well.
“This scholarship was created because it is important to her family that she continues to make a positive impact at Troy University by helping deserving students achieve their goals,” Bookout said. “Helping a student at Troy is exactly what she would have wanted. Sarah deserves to have her name live on at Troy University, where she shared so much kindness and love for almost a decade.”
For Sarah’s father, Steve Betterton, the establishment of the endowed scholarship is about keeping Sarah’s memory alive on the Troy Campus.
“The way I feel about it is that you’re not really gone if you have something still calling your name out,” he said. “If they’re talking about you, you are pretty much still there. She was a great girl.”