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News Release

Jan. 31, 2024

New scholarship honors retired marketing instructor’s commitment to students, University

A new Northwest Missouri State University endowed scholarship recognizes a longtime faculty member and dedicated alumnus for his legacy at the institution and his impact on students.

The Russ Northup Marketing Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Northwest marketing major who is a sophomore, junior or senior and maintains a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

Brian Hesse, who graduated from Northwest in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, is providing cash gifts totaling more than $25,000 to establish the scholarship honoring Northup.

Hesse says Northup had a tremendous influence on him as an instructor and academic advisor, and they maintain a friendship beyond the classroom today.

Hesse now is the co-owner, president and chief executive officer of aluminum distributor PerenniAL and gives credit to Northup for his professional success and for instilling confidence in his abilities.

“As a former ‘average’ student of his, I remember many conversations in his office about my future and what he saw in me,” Hesse said. “He was always positive — no criticism in any negative way. Russ was the professor who always had a line at his door during office hours. Students fed off his knowledge and enthusiasm. He was a marketing master and was able to put textbook concepts into real-world scenarios that piqued students’ interests.”

Russ Northup earned bachelor’s and master's degrees at Northwest and served as a faculty member from 1990 to 2004. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Russ Northup earned bachelor’s and master's degrees at Northwest and served as a faculty member from 1990 to 2004. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Northup earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in 1965, and – after serving in the military and working in private business – he completed his Master of Business Administration at the University in 1990 and joined its faculty. He taught marketing and management courses until retiring as an assistant professor in 2004.

Northup, who was an advisor for the American Marketing Association and the Turkish Student Association, received the Dean’s Award for Service and the Tower Service Award in 1997. He also received the Northwest Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2004.

Additionally, he was an alumni advisor for the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity for 12 years and was recognized in 1993 by its national chapter as Grand Prytanis Key Leader.

In 2008, Northup was honored by Northwest’s M-Club Hall of Fame with a Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his work as the University’s faculty athletics representative from 1998 to 2004 and a stint as the athletics department’s compliance director.

“We greatly appreciate Mr. Hesse’s continued support of students in the Booth School of Business and his commitment to Northwest,” said Dr. Ben Blackford, the director of the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business and an alumnus of the University. “This is a great way to honor Mr. Northup, an outstanding educator and member of the Northwest community. I was very fortunate to have been a student of Mr. Northup’s as well, and it is very fitting to see him honored in this way.”

Hesse hopes his gift to help Northwest establish the scholarship inspires others to consider similar scholarships honoring faculty members who have made significant impacts.

“I’m sure there are hundreds of alumni who, if given the thought, would do something similar,” Hesse said. 

Hesse, who resides in West Harrison, New York, joined the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors in 2022 and has more than 25 years of experience with metal manufacturing and distribution companies.

For more information about the Russ Northup Marketing Scholarship or to make a tax-deductible gift to benefit the University, contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215