Lattimore legacy lives on through donors’ scholarship

dcloninger@thestate.comJuly 1, 2014 

Marcus Lattimore in 2010. He's one of the former Gamecocks featured in a new video by Dinobrite Productions

GMELENDEZ@THESTATE.COM — Gerry Melendez

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    Video from the Lattimore Foundation dinner.

Marcus Lattimore was considered a gift when he signed with South Carolina and a treasure when he departed. Not many athletes who have played for the Gamecocks left such a lasting impact.

Thanks to two donors who were struck by Lattimore’s legacy, his name will be the gift that keeps on giving.

“We’ve known Marcus, not known him personally, but known his reputation, since Byrnes (High), since he signed at USC, since that very first game,” said David Glenn, founder of Greenville-based Centennial American Properties. “He’s always been (about) character and hard work, and anybody that could go through two injuries and have the work ethic to get himself back as he’s done, that’s impressive.

“So we were just thinking of giving a scholarship through Marcus to a kid that had worked hard, had great character to be a better player and better person. That was a worthy cause to be a part of.”

USC announced last week that the David Glenn Family of Greenville had gifted a Marcus Lattimore scholarship, to be given to a deserving football walk-on who exhibits the highest character, integrity and exemplary leadership. The donation, which is tied into an endowment to Lattimore’s D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation, covers around $350,000.

Lattimore’s foundation stands for “Driven Righteously to Empower Athletes’ Minds Spiritually.” Its purpose is to provide top-notch medical assistance to high-school athletes with severe sports injuries, who might not have sufficient insurance to cover the medical bills.

Glenn, USC ’70, and his son Brody Glenn, USC ’99, have been in the Gamecocks Club and attending games for many years. Inspired by how Lattimore courageously fought through two major knee injuries at USC and still made an NFL roster, the Glenns decided to honor that fight on a yearly basis.

“We’ve had South Carolina roots for a long time,” Glenn said. “We had a meeting with the athletic department about contributing money to South Carolina, and I kind of heard it, but it was background music.

“Once they brought up Marcus Lattimore, who I did not know but I knew his reputation and character, and just the way he carried himself, that got me interested.”

The Glenns and their company have become a prominent name in South Carolina. Centennial built several buildings around Greenville and was in charge of Fluor Field construction, and they also built the Trader Joe’s in Columbia. With projects stretching from Florida to Seattle and Montana, Centennial claims more than seven million square feet of commercial space in many of the Southeast’s biggest markets.

Talking with the athletics department about a gift, the Glenns jumped at the idea of letting a walk-on carry Lattimore’s banner every year.

“We said that, maybe, what we could do with this gift is set up a scholarship that would be given to a young man who is a walk-on, but during his walk-on year, demonstrates the kind of work ethic and character that Marcus has,” Glenn said.

“Marcus is a great Gamecock and this scholarship is a terrific way to recognize his legacy at South Carolina,” athletics director Ray Tanner said in a statement.

Lattimore spoke at a kickoff celebration for his foundation in Greenville this past Thursday, hours after the scholarship was announced.

“This is a dream,” Lattimore told The Greenville News. “It’s just a testament of hard work, dedication and figuring out my purpose in life.”

He also reached out to the Glenns, thanking them for their generosity.

“We’ve talked and he was very gracious, very thankful and he’s a great young man,” Glenn said. “We’re honored to be a part of this.”

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