More than a year has passed since Xan Korman died, but his legacy at Butler University is still just getting started. Korman was a rising junior and a promising photographer who loved covering the Butler Men’s Basketball team when he was gravely injured in a drive-by shooting in his home state of Maryland. He passed away a few days later on August 19, 2021. Recently, his parents, Carolyn and Steve, established the Xan Korman Legacy Project’s Endowed Scholarship Fund in his honor to support Butler students who share Xan’s passions. The scholarship will be awarded to students who are credentialed to provide coverage of the men’s basketball team, with preference for a student interested in photography.
“We are hoping that there is a student who shares Xan’s passions of photography and basketball that will learn a little bit about Xan and what he stood for, about his selflessness, his compassion, his generosity, his enthusiasm, and that learning a little bit about Xan will have an impact on them,” Carolyn says.
As an endowed fund, the scholarship will exist in perpetuity at Butler, ensuring that Korman’s legacy will benefit future aspiring photographers at Butler for generations to come.
Korman’s parents say Butler was always high on the list of colleges he was interested in attending, but it was during a basketball game in Hinkle Fieldhouse on a campus visit when Xan first sensed that Butler felt like home.
“We were sitting in Hinkle watching the game and at some point he just leaned over and said, ‘I think I like it here,’” Carolyn says.
Korman enrolled at Butler as a Lacy School of Business student majoring in Entrepreneurship, but it was his work as a photographer for The Butler Collegian where his true passion began to surface.
By the spring of his sophomore year, a conversation with Butler Academic Advisor and Student Development Specialist Jen Mann helped Xan chart out a new path forward through a change in his major to Creative Media and Entertainment in the College of Communication.
“Xan’s passion for media was way deeper than just a few pictures and videos,” says Chuck Harris, one of Korman’s closest friends and a guard on the men’s basketball team during Korman’s time at Butler. “He felt that it was what he was meant to do.”
Since Xan’s death, Carolyn and Steve have been focused on creating something positive out of the tragedy. The Xan Korman Legacy Project was established at the Greater Washington Community Foundation and the Kormans are directing memorial gifts to the fund to support causes Xan cared about including photography, racial justice, organ donation, and anti-gun violence. The fifth and pillar cause is the Xan Korman Legacy Project’s Endowed Scholarship at Butler.
Steve and Carolyn maintain contact with many of Xan’s Butler friends, including members of the men’s basketball team. They say it is bittersweet to watch his classmates preparing to graduate, but they are grateful to still be part of the Butler family where Xan found so much joy.
“The love we’ve been shown by so many people who came into his life, it keeps us going,” Steve says. “He was so passionate about the program and the school. We’re just trying to share his legacy and keep his name and the things he stood for alive.”
Contributions can be made to the Xan Korman Legacy Project’s Endowed Scholarship Fund at Butler by selecting “Other Designation” on the Butler giving form at butler.edu/gifts.