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Adding the next piece

Jeff Kososki had dreams of running his own business. Now, a scholarship in his name is helping others’ dreams come true.

Fractured shards forming a Gamecock rests on a garnet-painted wall.

Jeff did not always want to be an accountant, his parents, John and Carol Kososki, say. But he knew he needed a strong understanding of financial literacy to protect his assets and make the most of any opportunity. Obtaining a finance-heavy degree in business made the most sense to him, and upon his 1996 graduation from the College of Charleston with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, he was ready to tackle any challenges that came his way.

Headshot of of the late Jeff Kososki.
Jeff Kososki

His degree concentrations in accounting, finance, investment analysis, sales and management launched his career in financial services, leading to him becoming a certified public accountant in 2003 and attaining several security licensures over the years. 

A Columbia native, Jeff took advantage of his proximity to USC by enrolling in several accounting classes needed to earn his CPA designation, and his love for the Gamecocks, and the community, never stopped.

“He made many long-standing friends at USC,” Carol says. “Their friendships were a very important part of his life.”

Jeff shared that love with his wife, Leah, a university graduate and employee. To mark their dedication, they commissioned a project from Troy Nissen, of Troy’s Cutting Edge on Forest Drive, after Jeff noticed an art piece on his commute to work.

The project? A massive mirror in the shape of a fighting Gamecock, slivers of shattered glass within a copper border.

“Jeff knew our family loved the Gamecocks, and he wanted something special for our family to enjoy,” Leah says. “I was able to get it hung two weeks before he passed. He was very proud.”

When Jeff died in August, the Kososki family sought a way to preserve his legacy. What better way to honor his passion and dedication to accountancy and finance than to help others along on the same path?

So the family established the Jeff Kososki Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to accounting majors in the Darla Moore School of Business who are working toward their CPA certifications. 

Jeff loved to help people. He would do anything for anyone at any time.

Leah Kososki

“It is intended to encourage students to develop the attributes necessary for success in the accounting profession,” Carol says. “Jeff devoted so much time and energy in his career to mentoring and coaching upcoming staff members in order to maximize their potential.”

An additional reason for establishing the fund was to honor his desire to help others in any way he could.

“Jeff loved to help people,” Leah says. “He would do anything for anyone at any time. He loved to mentor his employees. He loved to fix problems. He was definitely a problem solver.”

Sharp and stunning, the Gamecock rests on a garnet-painted wall in the Kososkis’ garage. The fractured shards glisten in the sunlight, a reminder of the bright futures ahead for recipients of the Jeff Kososki Endowed Scholarship Fund. 

“Hopefully, the scholarship will continue to grow and provide educational opportunities for many students for many years,” Leah says.

Leah Kososki, wife of the late Jeff Kososki, poses with their daughter, Julia, in front of the Gamecock art piece.
Leah Kososki, wife of the late Jeff Kososki, poses with their daughter, Julia, in front of the Gamecock art piece in their garage.

This story first appeared in Carolina's Future magazine. Learn more about giving at the University of South Carolina.