About 65 miles away from Penn State’s University Park campus, one alumnus has quietly impacted the academic careers of over 128 students in the Eberly College of Science since 2014, and many more at Penn State DuBois.
Dr. George Kosco was a through-and-through Nittany Lion fan, instilling a love of Penn State in his family. Dr. Kosco’s sons, both Penn State alumni, still fondly recall how their father would attend football games early just to see the Blue Band pregame exercise warmup, and how both he and their mother were involved with the Penn State Basketball Hoops Club.
“He was very serious about educating himself, and he liked to surround himself with similar people, so Penn State was his go to. He would be a part of anything Penn State that he could think of,” said Dr. Kosco’s younger son, Michael. “It was a privilege for him to be a part of the University and the University life.”
Dr. Kosco and his wife, Diana, married in 1978 and settled in DuBois, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a diagnostic radiologist and she was a registered nurse. Together they had two sons, who attended Penn State, as well: Jason Mahler and Michael Kosco. After his wife’s death in 2012, Dr. Kosco established the George and Diana Kosco Trustee Scholarship in the Eberly College of Science and made a provision for the scholarship in his estate plans. Two years later, Dr. Kosco went on to create the George and Diana Kosco Trustee Scholarship at Penn State DuBois.
“The George and Diana Kosco Trustee Scholarship in the Eberly College of Science is instrumental in making a science degree accessible to all,” said Tracy Langkilde, Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science. “I am deeply inspired by his loyal and lifelong commitment to future generations of students. Because of his generosity and planning, his remarkable gift will continue to transform the lives of many students each year, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Since 2014, this trustee matching scholarship has grown from supporting 15–20 students annually to now supporting 58 students. It provides financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the Eberly College of Science who have demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses. During his lifetime, Dr. Kosco was inducted into the Mount Nittany Society, the pinnacle of philanthropy to Penn State, recognizing individuals with an exceptional cumulative lifetime giving to Penn State. Not only did Penn State make its mark on him, Dr. Kosco has made his mark on Penn State by helping generations of students achieve their goals and dreams.
“Balancing my academics and my extracurriculars while working to support myself financially sometimes made it difficult to give my full potential in everything I was doing and still maintain a healthy personal and social life, which is why the gift of this scholarship is so appreciated,” said one scholarship recipient. “Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to cover my educational expenses so I can continue working towards my degree and graduation at the end of this year. Additionally, I have been able to cut down the number of hours I have to work. This will allow me to focus more on my academic performance in my classes and on my extracurricular involvements.”
Beyond his dedication to the institution, Dr. Kosco was also a successful radiologist. At the time that he was hired for his most recent position in DuBois, Pennsylvania, Dr. Kosco was the youngest of four on staff. In this position, he convinced the practice to purchase CT scanning technology while the technology was still new, and successfully fought to retain the business.
Dr. Kosco graduated with a bachelor’s degree in premedicine from Penn State in 1968 and went on to acquire his M.D. at Temple University in 1972. Throughout the years that followed and until his passing in May 2021, he was a longtime supporter of Penn State. Today, there are two bricks and one blue stone in the Penn State Alumni Courtyard and Alumni Walk that were ordered by Dr. Kosco. The bricks were gifted to each son and are inscribed with their respective families’ names.
“He just had a deep reverence for the University and really appreciated his time at Penn State,” said Jason Mahler, Dr. Kosco’s older son. “He realized he could leave a footprint.”