LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Less than a week after the 9:30 Club’s head of security passed away suddenly, a scholarship fund has been created in his name at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The Josh Burdette Student Entertainment Events (SEE) Memorial Scholarship will be annually awarded in Burdette’s honor to a student leader within SEE, the group that organizes on-campus concerts and performances.
The scholarship “seeks to honor the many contributions that Josh Burdette made to SEE during his years as an undergraduate student leader … as well as his continued involvement as an alumni volunteer and mentor,” according to the memorial fund website.
Burdette graduated from the university’s Honors College in 1998 with a degree in psychology. He joined the 9:30 Club security crew full-time soon afterwards.
He eventually became a fixture within the D.C. music scene — his tattoos, piercings and large stature made him virtually unmissable. Mourners on Twitter called him “the face of the 9:30 club” and “Big Josh.”
But his involvement with the University of Maryland didn’t end when he got his diploma and started working for the iconic D.C. venue.
“He could be found on campus each year doing security trainings [sic] and inspirational speeches about the importance of safety at shows,” according to the memorial page. “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.”
Of course, Burdette made an impact on his 9:30 Club coworkers, too.
“We’re so heartbroken, there just aren’t the right words for it, it’s just not processing,” Audrey Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the venue, wrote in an email to WNEW on Monday.
Seth Hurwitz, co-owner of the 9:30 Club, wrote about Burdette’s death in a statement sent to All News 99.1 Monday afternoon:
“Josh was one of the wisest people you would ever meet. When you talked to him, you hoped you would be lucky enough to retain some of that wisdom, but you had to make the effort as he never forced it on you. But every word he spoke was from one of the kindest, most thoughtful and well-cetntered [sic] folks you could hope to have in your life.
And then there was the fantastic joke that people that didn’t know him fell for every time. Here was this scary looking dude that was a complete contradiction of his appearance. I think everyone felt a little ashamed and learned from that.
We were all so proud to have him as our ambassador to the world. He was as 9:30 as 9:30 gets.
I’m pretty good at moving on but this one’s gonna be tough. There will be no getting over it, sorry.”
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says Burdette died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on September 1.
To donate to The Josh Burdette Student Entertainment Events (SEE) Memorial Scholarship, click here.