The Sgt. J.J. Sturm Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of J.J. Sturm, a retired sergeant from the Greensboro, N.C. Police Department at the time of his death in 2019. Sgt. Sturm’s career spanned 28 years, some of which he shared with his son. Their commitment to Catholic education and the law enforcement profession helped create this scholarship.
This year’s scholarship award recipient was Meghan Tropeano, a rising senior at Belmont Abbey. Majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in history, Meghan shares, “I believe a greater understanding of history, especially American history, lends itself to a better perspective on the present and the future, especially as it relates to law enforcement.” She’s enjoyed the personal connections she made with the Criminal Justice professors and classmates during her time here.
Joshua Sturm, J.J. Sturm’s son, shares, “This scholarship allowed me to take a tragedy that I still struggle with and turn it into what my father would do: Teach and Give Back. Dr. Beeman was instrumental in my life and the path I took. Our relationship did not end when I took every possible class she taught, and in kind, she never stopped teaching me. When I lost my father, I was searching for something to memorialize him and to do him justice. I looked again to Dr. Beeman, and we came up with this scholarship.”
He continues, “For me, I like to uphold the Shield of law enforcement like the Knights of old. With our Oath and under what authority we serve represented on our shield, today’s badges can be forged with training and education to the point of exhaustion. However, if that mind and heart are not also forged in good, then it is of no use. Catholic education mirrors this mindset in so many ways.
Every day a Police officer answers the call to serve in the battle of Good vs. Evil drawing upon every tool, class, teaching, and those that came before them for strength, courage, humility, and grace. I hope each student that receives it treats it as motivation to continue to honor their fellow human, their school, their family, and God. To paraphrase from the Prayer to St. Michael:
Through their service, which earned this scholarship, may ‘they shine with excellence and superhuman virtue to deliver us from all evil.’ May classmates, professors, and families ‘turn to them with confidence.’ Finally, may they never stop learning in order ‘to serve God more and more faithfully every day.’”
Learn more about the Abbey’s Criminal Justice Department.