‘Persistent Faith In Me’
Norman names scholarships for professors who inspired him
Robin Russell, Josh Norman and Linda Kuykendall
Pro football star Josh Norman has named endowed scholarships for two of his favorite professors as part of his recent $1.5 million gift to Coastal Carolina University.
The Robin E. Russell Scholarship will support students in the Department of Theatre, and the Linda P. Kuykendall Scholarship will support students in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture. A third scholarship is the Joshua R. Norman Walk-On Student-Athlete Endowed Scholarship
“Professors Russell and Kuykendall were the foundation of my educational experience while I was a student at Coastal Carolina University,” Norman said. “I have never forgotten their willingness to understand who Josh Norman truly is, and I wanted to give back to my two most important professors. Their persistent faith in me is why I wanted to honor them with the scholarships in their names and for their departments.”
Russell is an associate professor of theatre in the Department of Theatre. She joined CCU’s faculty in 1995 and has directed countless theatre productions.
“It has always been my goal to be a strong advocate for every student who walks through my door,” Russell said. “One of the many joys of teaching is to learn from each of my students. From Josh, I learn humility. I am so humbled and overwhelmed by this beautiful honor.”
Kuykendall is a senior instructor in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture. She has taught speech and communication at CCU for 32 years. Kuykendall pioneered the structuring of the communication major at CCU and has been instrumental in its growth.
“I feel honored and privileged,” Kuykendall said. “It’s heartwarming to know Josh wants to help students academically. Coastal Carolina University clearly had an impact on his academics. It wasn’t just football.”
Norman’s donation is the largest gift ever given to the University by a former Chanticleer student-athlete. A majority of his gift has been designated for the Brooks Stadium expansion project, which includes increasing seating capacity to at least 20,000 and adding luxury suites and an upper deck to the west side of the stadium. In recognition of his philanthropic generosity, CCU announced during Homecoming that the athletics field house at the stadium has been named the Marrio and Josh Norman Field House, after Josh and his brother, Marrio, who also played football for the Chanticleers.
“Through Josh’s example of philanthropy, we’re reminded to always reach back and lend a hand to assure the success of others,” Russell said. “Josh is a beautiful soul who will undoubtedly end up a star on the field and the stage.”