Honors and Awards
Kosove Distinguished Teaching & Service Award
About the Award and History
In 1912, a fourteen-year-old named Harri Kosove dropped out of the eighth grade to help support his family. Harri took the only job he could find. His starting salary was $7 a week. Seventy years later, in 1982, the University of South Florida announced that Harrison and Ruth Kosove had given the largest single private philanthropic gift in the institution’s history.
Harri and Ruth chose to invest in USF because it was a young, dynamic university full of promise. He said, "USF is a vibrant, and growing university, not hampered by the traditions of an older school.” Harri said he hoped that by providing a scholarship fund to educate bright American students, he could help spread the gospel of American exceptionalism. He wanted to bring about a resurgence of American greatness. Even Harri thought that sounded a little corny, but he said, "It's that kind of corn that made us a great nation."
"There's a great need to create more understanding among Americans," Harri Kosove said. "An adversarial system is too prevalent in today's society. I'm hoping the donation will produce scholars who will try to break down barriers." At 84 years of age, he wanted to repay the country that gave his family a chance at a better life. Harri often said: “The future is with our young people."
In 2010, the Kosove society and the Kosove alumni began the initial stages of bringing this professorship to fruition. The alumni board spent many months drafting the award criteria and an application. Furthermore, the board decided to create two awards; one to recognize undergraduate teaching and one to recognize graduate teaching.
Criteria: The following elements are assessed in nominations for the Kosove Distinguished Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching & Service Award: evidence of teaching, service, and leadership activities that effect positive change in the community as stated in the “Kosove Society Goals.” Specifically, the Kosove Society aims “to promote individual and collective social responsibility, societal change for the betterment of humanity, participation in academic disclosure; the principles of diversity and cohesiveness in the community; and the development of leadership skills.” While service of all kinds is valued, the award places special emphasis on service carried out in the nominee’s professional capacity that clearly addresses the goals of the Kosove Society.
The Kosove Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Service Award carries a cash award of $7,500.
The Kosove Distinguished Graduate Teaching and Service Award carries a cash award of $7,500.