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Just ‘‘doing what came During the 13 years that Paul Kuszaj worked in elementary education, the 1988 Slippery Rock University graduate always went the extra step for his students. Whether it was providing clothing so a young boy had a fresh shirt, or brushing out and braiding a little girl’s hair because no one at home had taken the time to do it, giving of his self was something that came naturally to the West Mifflin native. After his passing in 2012, a group of his former Sigma Pi fraternity brothers banded together to establish an endowed memorial scholarship in his name so Kuszaj could continue giving. Endowed scholarships provide Slippery Rock University with a permanent asset from which students receive support. The gift becomes a fund managed by the Slippery Rock University Foundation, whose investment objective is to achieve growth that is sufficient to preserve the value of the gift so the annual award is not diminished by inflation. The minimum principal balance required to establish an

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endowed scholarship is $25,000. Initial contributions may be made in lesser amounts until the gift of $25,000 is reached. Subsequent additions may be contributed at any time in any amount. “ He was a real people person “I was overwhelmed with the and took great pleasure in kindness and generosity of his sharing in the joy of others. fraternity brothers wanting to establish (the memorial scholarship) I can’t help but think he still will when he sees what this in Paul’s name,” said his wife, Janet scholarship will be able to Kuszaj. “When I first heard about it, I was ecstatic that Paul’s memory do for others.” would be able to live on forever. For his name to be associated with something so special is just incredible.” The couple, married in 1999, were just two years into their marriage when Paul suffered a severe brain hemorrhage. His wife was told he likely had just hours to live and that if by some chance he did survive, the chances he would ever walk, talk or see again were near zero. The couple’s then infant son, Shane, would never have the opportunity to play catch in the backyard with his dad; and another son, Corey, now 10, just wasn’t something that should have been possible. Yet Kuszaj challenged the dire medical prognosis with the same energy and attitude that often made him, according to his wife, the center of attention throughout his life as evidenced by his election as SRU’s homecoming king in 1987. “Paul meant a lot to a lot of people,” said Eric Wangler, ’88, Kuszaj’s former fraternity brother, roommate, best man and the driving force

Rock Magazine Summer 2017