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Alfred and Mary Kosowski Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
As a young girl, Mary Kosowski read the William Shakespeare quote, “What fools these mortals be” and was bothered by it. “I was determined to prove it wrong. I loved school, worked hard, got good grades, helped at home, followed the rules, and chose the good path,” she recalls.

Born and raised in Pawtucket, Mary graduated from East (now Tolman) High School before attending Rhode Island School of Design. Of her enrollment at RISD, Mary says, “The high school art teachers encouraged me to apply for a state scholarship because I was kind of shy. But I’ve loved to draw from the time I could hold a pencil.”

She met her future husband, Alfred, when they both were students at RISD where he was in the textiles program. They pursued careers following graduation and marriage, with Alfred working at Paragon Worsted in Olneyville, and later in the insurance business. Mary worked as a designer before being a stay-at-home mother to the couple’s daughters, Linda and Eileen. Mary later began teaching at Catholic schools in Woonsocket and Cumberland, earned a master’s degree in teaching from Rhode Island College, and taught for 25 years in the Cumberland Public Schools. Alfred died in 1989, and Mary retired one year later.

Mary shares that new relationships, new personalities, and new behaviors within her family, combined with outside forces and problems, have created personal devastating challenges. “And so I realize we are fools and William Shakespeare long ago realized the havoc we can create as conditions arise to plague us, and thus we do need help changing behaviors. Maybe this fund (designated for a University of Rhode Island graduate student in behavioral sciences) can help us address some of it.”

Mary became familiar with the Foundation through art, specifically through the late Antonio Cirino’s fund for fellowships in arts education training. She served many years on the Cirino Fund advisory committee.

She concludes by sharing this Albert Pike quote: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
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