Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Indiana high school scholarship named after IU alumnus Chris Beaty

Cathedral High School, located in Indianapolis, created a new scholarship fund in honor of an alumus, the late and beloved football player Chris Beaty. The Chris Beaty '00 Endowed Memorial Tuition Fund has $100,000 donated through a GoFundMe page for Beaty. 

According to a Cathedral news release, primary consideration for the scholarship will be given to an incoming inner-city African American freshman who exemplifies Cathedral’s Holy Cross values — divine providence, excellence, integrity, family, educating hearts and minds, hope, inclusiveness and diversity, option for the poor and zeal. The fund will go toward covering tuition costs for recipients.

From a young age, Beaty was dynamic, and it showed in everything he did, his friends and family said. While at Cathedral, he helped lead the school to three state championship football games. After high school, Beaty was recruited by former IU head coach Cam Cameron. From 2000 to 2004, Beaty was a defensive lineman for the IU football team. 

He played his final three seasons under the leadership of former IU head coach Gerry DiNardo. 

Beaty was shot and killed May 30, 2020, while attempting to rush to assist two women who were being mugged in downtown Indianapolis, but his legacy did not end there.

Although Beaty dedicated a large portion of his life to athletics, he was more than just a football player. Beaty was an event planner and owner of the former Indianapolis nightclub, Revel. He ran the establishment with close friend James Waldon, also known as DJ GNO, from September 2018 to December 2019.

Related: [Black Voices: How to make the most out of federal and IU scholarships as a Black student]

Waldon and Beaty became fast friends after meeting at a mutual friend's home during the summer of 1998, Waldon said.

“Chris was one of the most reliable people I know,” Waldon said. “He did a good job of taking care of me, and he did that for everyone.” 

Chris Beaty poses with James Weldon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cathedral High School in Indianapolis has created an honorary scholarship in Beaty's name. Courtesy Photo

Beaty was also a family man who enjoyed being a son, brother and uncle. 

Beaty’s nephew, Jared Thomas, used the words fun, outgoing and semi-serious to describe the way he remembers his uncle. 

“I tell people all the time he was more than my uncle. He was like my big brother, a mentor, just somebody that really guided me through life that was closer in age to me than my parents,” Thomas said. “Everything we did, it was ‘Let’s have fun, let’s have fun,’ but then there were those moments where he was like ‘Yo I’m actually putting you on some game or actually, I’m trying to show you which way to go and which way not to go.’” 

One of Thomas’s fondest memories of his uncle, he said, was when Beaty turned down free tickets to Thomas’s Big Ten Championship game. When he arrived at the game,Thomas was not only surprised to see Beaty already there, but also on the field’s sideline waiting to cheer him on. 

“He always found a way to connect with everybody,” Thomas said. “No matter race, gender, nationality, whatever it is, he always found a way to be himself and to have fun with it. He was a magnet to everybody, and I think it really just described who he was as a person. That’s a legacy that I would want to have once I’m not on this earth anymore.” 

Chris Beaty poses with Jared Thomas at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Cathedral High School in Indianapolis created a scholarship in honor of Beaty, an alumnus. Courtesy Photo

Through Cathedral’s memorial scholarship fund, Beaty’s warmth and strong passion for life will continue to live with his loved ones, and positivity will affect young people for many years to come.

Thomas is confident his uncle would have kind words and advice to share with the recipients to come. 

“If I was speaking on my uncle's behalf, he would tell them, because it will be many, to dream big, reach for the stars, stay present in your day-to-day routine and have fun,” Thomas said.

Directions for donation to the fund can be found on Cathedral’s school website.

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