CCU awards Josh Norman with honorary degree of public service
A quick recap:
• Drafted in 2012 by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers
• Played in Super Bowl 50 during the 2015-2016 season
• Became the highest-paid cornerback in the league in 2016 with the Washington Redskins
• Founded Starz24, a foundation to provide enrichment for children through community events and programs
• Inducted into the George F. “Buddy” Sasser Hall of Fame at CCU in 2017
• Runner-up on Season 26 of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2018
Now, Norman has one more accolade to add to his quickly growing list: recipient of an honorary doctorate of public service from Coastal Carolina University.
CCU President David A. DeCenzo surprised Norman with the honorary degree on June 6.
“The board of trustees and I wanted to recognize Josh for everything he’s done for the underprivileged, for hurricane victims, for youth,” DeCenzo said. “He’s been a wonderful humanitarian, and we felt it was an honor that we could bestow on him just to say thank you for what he is doing for the University, for the community, and for this nation.”
The honorary doctorate is dated May 4, but as DeCenzo mentioned to him during the presentation, Norman was a little busy during that time with “Dancing with the Stars.”
Norman wasn’t expecting the honor, and DeCenzo said it was the first time he’d ever seen the star athlete speechless, if only for a moment or two.
Who would of ever thought my winding Adventurous roads in this journey called Life, would have brought me to an Honorary Doctorate Degree!? Never in a million years did I EVER think I would be serviced to such a Prestigious Honor. Gosh it goes to show you GOD sure is Great! Life will Never be the same again! Doctor 👨🏽⚕️ Norman, Ps. White coat is in effect Asap! 🤪😂 @ccuchanticleers
“I think he was just stunned at that moment,” DeCenzo said. “He’s very humbled to be honored by his alma mater in this way.”
Norman, a native of Greenwood, S.C., posted the video of the presentation to his Instagram account after he received the honorary doctorate.
“Never in a million years did I EVER think I would be serviced to such a prestigious honor,” he wrote in his post, signing it “Doctor Norman.”
Norman founded the Starz24 Foundation to help children through programs that emphasize fitness and teamwork. He recently hosted a fundraiser called the White Attire Charity Party that benefits Starz24 and raised more than $24,000.
DeCenzo calls Norman a phenomenal ambassador for Coastal Carolina University, mentioning a full-page ad Norman took out in the Greenwood newspaper asking groups in the area to send him their project needs. Norman ended up personally funding every single project he received.
“He’s made all of us at CCU very proud of our University, and we are very proud of him and what’s he’s done and what he’s doing,” DeCenzo said.
Watch a video of when Norman visited campus in 2017 to have his No. 24 jersey retired and chatted with one of his former professors, Robin Russell.