Peyton Powell receives JB Beasley Memorial Scholarship

Published 8:43 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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A very special event of the Patti Rutland Jazz 2024 Recital at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University Saturday was the awarding the 2024 JB Beasley Memorial Scholarship. The recipient of the memorial scholarship is Peyton Powell.

“Peyton has a strong work ethic, way beyond her years, and has the most beautiful disposition,” said Patti Simpson, Patti Rutland Jazz. “Her kindness, empathy and positive attitude uplift all of those around her. Overall, it is her hard work and thirst for knowledge that made her a perfect candidate for this very special award and as a beautiful reminder of the young lady that made such a difference in the world, JB Beasley.”

Simpson said the JB Beasley Memorial Scholarship began last year as a loving tribute to one of her students.”

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“Finally, there were answers to a 25-year case murder of JB,” Simpson said. The memorial scholarship was awarded to Peyton and presented to her by Patti Simpson.

Iliannah Cousins brought JB’s solo, “Uninvited,” back to the stage as a promise to myself, if the murder was ever solved, I would bring it back,” Simpson said. “‘Uninvited’ was JB’s favorite song and was the last solo dance she ever performed, exactly one week before she died.”

Simpson said the annual scholarship award is another way to remember JB when she was alive and dancing.

“I miss her more that I could ever say or ever imagine,” Simpson said. “She was a huge presence in my life and a very special young woman. JB was planning on dancing after graduation and moving to Chicago. We were there in April looking at Northwestern University. She had so much going for her to be gone so soon.”