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Fallen Soldier Alumnus Inspires Legacy of Helping Student Veterans

Next Fundraiser Happens at Homecoming

Charles Kitowski '98The memory of Charles Kitowski ’98, a Celt alumnus who was killed in action in 2007 after being deployed to Afghanistan, helps veterans complete their higher education at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. In the six years since it began, the Sgt. Charles Kitowski III Memorial Scholarship has raised $100,000 and financially assisted 20 veterans.

Upcoming Fundraiser Ties to Homecoming

The newest fundraiser, set for Nov. 12, is timed to tie in with Veterans Day and UST’s Diamond Jubilee Homecoming event. So come and hang out with the scholarship’s Celtic Valor Board members at their festive, giant tailgating tent. You’ll find them cooking food, listening to music, and offering Celtic Valor mugs for sale.

Kitowski’s Classmates Keep His Memory Alive

Dan Garcia’s heart is personally invested in the fundraising effort. The director of UST’s Rising Stars Program is a founding member of the Celtic Valor Board, which awards the Kitowski scholarships. All five board members are UST alumni and were Kitowski’s friends: Dan Garcia ’01, MBA ’09; Joe Garcia ’03; Kevin Loper ’97, MSA ’00; Erika Neuman ’01; and Brian Lowe ‘01.

“Charles was literally the first person I met on campus in ’94, and we became and remained best friends after that,” Dan Garcia recalled. “My parents knew him. He came over to our house all the time.”

During his years as a student at St. Thomas, Kitowski was all about campus life and service, according to Garcia. He joined every club and organization and did whatever he could to help them out.

“He had such a giving spirit,” Garcia said. “Charles wanted to be more than a member; he wanted to help the organizations succeed.”  

Who Gets the Scholarships

The Sgt. Charles Kitowski III Scholarship Memorial Scholarship keeps the fallen alumnus’ giving spirit alive.

“We award the scholarships to deserving current UST student veterans who embody Charles’ selflessness, loyalty and respect,” Garcia said. “These recipients are traditional and non-traditional students with spouses, kids and families. It’s great to see their faces when part of the financial burden of school is taken away.”

Garcia says Kitowski would totally approve of the Celtic Valor Board’s efforts. For more information about the Sgt. Charles Kitowski III Memorial Scholarship Fund and how to help, go here Or come by the group’s Homecoming tent on Nov. 12 for a warm welcome and some great food.