Josh Burdette embodied a Terp through and through. A committed undergraduate, Josh graduated in 1998 from the Honors College with a degree in psychology and always made sure to stay connected to the University. As an undergraduate, Josh was an outstanding classmate and student leader through Student Entertainment Events (SEE). It was his experience with SEE that inspired Josh to pursue a career in the entertainment industry after graduation. It was this same commitment and passion for UMD and SEE that kept Josh coming back to his alma mater to support and mentor current students. He could be found on campus each year doing security trainings and inspirational speeches about the importance of safety at shows. Josh left a big impression on the Maryland community. Many of his fellow classmates and faculty members would describe him as a compassionate, friendly and caring individual.
These are a few excerpts from an article honoring Josh’s memory written by the Washington Post's Adam Bernstein:
- Behind the imposing facade, Mr. Burdette was widely regarded as a gentleman and a gentle man in the role of gatekeeper. “I have a degree in psychology, so I watch people — it’s what I do,” the University of Maryland graduate once said. He sparingly resorted to toughness to resolve disputes. He prided himself on identifying troublemakers before they could act.
- Joshua Burdette weighed 10 pounds at his birth Sept. 4, 1976. Growing up in Kensington, he was
urged by his father, a Methodist minister and family counselor, not to use his physical might to bully others.
“He grew up in an environment that taught him the way the world gets along best,” Robert Burdette, his father, told the Diamondback newspaper at the University of Maryland. “At home, at school, at church...he was taught that [his size] was extra responsibility, not more privilege.”
There were times, he said, when other boys tested him, tried to lure him into fights, even got in a few punches. He said he would grab hold of the offending boy until school security arrived.
Mr. Burdette once said he “made a lot of choices that set me aside from general society.” They began with piercings, followed by tattoos at 21 while at the University of Maryland. He graduated in 1998 from the University of Maryland as part of the university honors program. He told the Diamondback that he earned extra cash by “basically just sitting out on the front porch of these frat parties in College Park” in case security was needed.
- Marc Roberge, lead singer of the rock band O.A.R, said Mr. Burdette “made bands like us feel welcome at a place we’d always dreamed of getting to. Sometimes when you get to a place you’ve always tried to play, they shut you down and you can really feel it. He represented the 9:30 Club with such a good vibe, they could not have chosen a better person to be a part of the history of that place.”
Josh touched so many lives through his time at Maryland and at the 9:30 Club. His friends and family hope to leave a lasting legacy through this scholarship among future generations of University of Maryland and SEE students.