The story behind I Swim For Bob is incredibly sad and inspiring. The event is a fun way to incorporate pool games and other fun activities to fund a scholarship in the name of Bob Norr. Norr was on the swim team at Frostburg State and he died in a kayaking accident.
The event and the scholarship named after him needed a bump. I tried to help by writing a preview news release, the story you see below for the alumni magazine Profile plus videos about the event, the scholarship itself and about Bob Norr.
I Swim for Bob Brings Joy From Heartbreak
Its Purpose Fulfilled, Student Committee Finds New Direction
By Charles Schelle | Fall 2015 issue of Profile
Heartbreak following the 2012 death of Bob Norr in a kayaking accident has been transformed into a joyous and fun annual event that honors the Recreation and Parks Management major’s memory while supporting future students.
Nearly 200 people enjoyed pool games, laser tag and dodgeball and scaled the rock-climbing wall at the fourth annual I Swim for Bob Day – Discover Your Own Adventure this spring.
Thee first such event came together a few months after Norr’s death, when students,
including classmate Alex Coleman ’12, came to Blankenship with the idea to start a scholarship and event in his memory.
About $47,000 has been raised since 2012 for the Robert A. Norr Presidential Merit Scholarship.
“Recreation and Parks majors, we approach life in a very different way. We like to get together and have a good time,” said Dr. Diane Blankenship, associate professor of recreation and parks management, one of Norr’s instructors. “We just felt like, in the spirit of Bob, to have a pool party and all these crazy events. … is is how he would want his life celebrated.”
This year’s event raised $7,000, and about $47,000 has been raised since 2012 for the Robert A. Norr Presidential Merit Scholarship, Blankenship said.
It’s now an annual tradition taken on by students who never even knew Norr. ey work tirelessly to plan the ongoing event year-round because they see how much
it means to the community and campus. Four classes across two semesters help plan, produce and evaluate the event.
“You can look at Dr. B and you can tell how much he meant to her, and his parents are here, and you can tell how much they care about how we do this,” said Brian Bussard,
a senior parks and recreation management major. “I think that our whole class groups together, and we want to make sure that
Norr’s roommate, Kevin Neitzey ’14, returned to support the event, marvel- ing at all the new faces as he watched a dodgeball game.
“I can count about 50 people I’ve never seen before in my life. I think it’s awesome that Dr. B really incorporates this not only in her curriculum but that the kids want to be here,” Neitzey said.
Norr’s parents, Bob and Nancy Norr, are pleased to see the event and scholarship grow and how much it reflects their son.
“We continue to be amazed that they honor Bob this way,” his father said.
“It’s awesome just to hear his name all the time,” Coleman said.
To support the Robert A. Norr Presidential Merit Scholarship, visit http://www.frostburg.edu/makeagift or call 301.687.4161.