HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Foundation Inc. has established a fund known as the John C. Burris Endowed Scholarship in memory of the former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Services of Citrix Systems, an S and P 500 Corporation.
Burris passed away from colon cancer in October 2012 at the age of 57.
“John was a memorable leader at Citrix and a mentor to many, so it is only fitting that a scholarship be established in his name,” said David R. Friedman, general counsel and senior vice president in human resources with Citrix. “With his education from Marshall as a springboard, John became an influential executive who had a profound impact on the success of our company. More than that, John was a role model who exemplified our core values every day. We are proud to share his legacy of academic and business achievements with Marshall University students.”
Burris was a native of New Haven, W.Va., where he graduated as Salutatorian of Wahama High School in 1973. He was Senior VP with Citrix for a 10-year period beginning in 1999. Burris, a 1977 Summa Cum Laude Marshall University graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration, was a key contributor to Citrix’ growth, with annual revenue increasing from $400 million to $1.4 billion during his successful tenure.
This fund was established with the generous contribution of $100,000 by Citrix in cooperation with John’s widow, Ann Burris of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“John was always very proud of the education he received at Marshall and how it prepared him for what became a very successful career,” Ann Burris said. “The family and I will be forever grateful to Citrix for this enduring tribute to a special man at his alma mater.”
The recipient(s) of the Burris Scholarship will be a full-time undergraduate student in the College of Business, a resident of West Virginia and an incoming freshman with an ACT composite of 29 or SAT of 1320 with a high school GPA of 3.5.
The award will be renewable up to four years, if the recipient maintains good academic standing with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. It will allow for a new freshman to be chosen each year, and for a total of four students to receive this scholarship at one time.
“We are very proud of John’s aspiration and achievements. His success will inspire many Marshall students in the coming years,” said Dr. Haiyang Chen, dean of the College of Business. “Now we are establishing the John C. Burris Endowed Scholarship in honor of him. We appreciate very much the generosity from Citrix Systems and Ann Burris. I am sure that the scholarship will help the college improve quality of our programs and graduates.”
Burris led the global Citrix sales, services and field marketing organizations comprising 2,500-plus sales and services professionals and 5,000 channel and distribution partners. In 2008, Burris had the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a public company CEO. He already was a member of the board of directors of Sourcefire, Inc., the creator of Snort, a global leader in intelligent cyber security solutions.
Burris’ peers sought him out to take the CEO position as they identified him as having all of the talents required to take the company to new levels. During more than four years as CEO, Burris led the transformation of Sourcefire from a single-product company with a market capitalization of under $150 million to a multi-product company with a market capitalization of well over $1.2 billion.
Revenues grew from $75 million in 2008 to a path of more than $200 million in 2012 and employee growth went from 280 in 2008 to 575. Under Burris’ direction the company was recognized by Forbes as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the U.S. from 2010 to 2012, rising to number 11 and the top security company on the 2012 list.
Many believe Burris laid the groundwork for the acquisition of Sourcefire by Cisco on Oct. 7, 2013. Cisco acquired Sourcefire for $2.7 billion, paying $76 a share. When Burris arrived at Sourcefire, the stock was about $5.