Kalafut family continues support of Kennesaw State with latest scholarship fund

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 13, 2021

George and Alice Kalafut
Alice and George Kalafut

George and Alice Kalafut have been part of the Kennesaw State family for more than 30 years, and now their own family is the inspiration for their latest gift to the University.

Named in honor of George and Alice’s daughters, the Katherine Kalafut Cody and Tracy Kalafut Collerain Endowed Scholarship will support students in KSU Journey Honors College and the Coles College of Business who are majoring in finance, accounting or information systems. The Kalafuts have pledged $100,000 for the scholarship, which will grow to a $250,000 contribution through a 150 percent matching program made possible by John and Rosemary Brown and the Kennesaw State University Foundation.

“We can’t think of a nicer way to honor our daughters,” said George, a longtime KSU Foundation trustee. “They both benefitted from attending universities, and we are thankful to be able to provide that opportunity for others.”

Their daughter Tracy, an enterprise application implementation specialist with University Information Technology Services (UITS), has worked at Kennesaw State for 15 years. Elder daughter Katherine passed away in 2018 from a rare illness after having a successful career in the New York fashion industry.

While the Kalafuts always have viewed their daughters as caring people interested in helping others, they developed a deeper appreciation for that following Katherine’s death. An overflow crowd packed into her church for a memorial service, and tributes to Katherine continued to stream in afterward.

“People would come up to us or write letters to us and say, ‘She helped me with my rent one month. She did this, she did that,’ and I got chills,” Alice said. “We knew that she made use of her time on Earth and had a life well-lived.”

This is the latest contribution from the Kalafuts. In 2017, they established the Alice G. Kalafut Scholarship to support women, with a focus on single mothers studying information systems, finance and accounting. The scholarship is one of the largest endowments bestowed on the Coles College of Business.

According to Alice Kalafut, there aren’t many scholarship opportunities for single mothers.

“When you meet these women and hear their stories, you realize that it’s pretty tough for them to handle all the responsibilities of being a single mom while furthering their education,” she said. “If we can make it any easier for them, we’re grateful.”

The Kalafuts have been part of the Owl family since 1991, when George became a trustee for Kennesaw State College. During his time with the Foundation, he has served as chair of the finance and investment committees.

“We are happy to support Kennesaw State, and having our personal connection makes it even more enjoyable for us,” George said. “Being part of something that has been so successful and has grown so much – not only in size, but in quality – and contributing to it from the Foundation side is the type of experience that you don’t have very often in a lifetime.”

– Paul Floeckher

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.