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Parents of Drunk Driving Victim Establish Scholarship in Son's Name

Published: March 01, 2011
The parents of Doug Kozar, the University of Tampa alumnus who was killed by a drunk driver when walking to his car on Harbour Island, have established an endowed scholarship at UT in his name.

“We decided we wanted to do something that would keep Doug’s memory alive,” his father, Russ Kozar, said. “We wanted to do something that was somehow affiliated with UT. He absolutely loved the school.”

The need-based scholarship will go to a junior criminology or criminal justice major and will continue into his or her senior year. It will be awarded starting in fall 2012.

Doug’s mother, Kathy Kozar, said he loved Florida and enjoyed every moment at UT. He was drawn to the water, because he was an avid fisherman. A native of Cortlandt Manor, NY, he told his parents he didn’t plan on coming back to New York.

The Douglas J. Kozar Memorial Endowed Scholarship will continue the legacy of a young man who friends say was quick to help out those in need.

“We always brought Doug up to think of others,” Kathy said. “His friends would say he was the first one to lend a helping hand. Doug embodied the values we taught him in our home, and we couldn't be prouder of the man he became.”

Kathryn Branch, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice had Kozar as a pupil in a number of her classes and said he definitely stood out.

“He was just one of those students you knew was engaged,” she said. “Sometimes he was quiet, but he was always participating, listening and asking questions afterward. He was a pleasure to have in the classroom.”

“Our students will definitely benefit from the scholarship,” she added. “I think it’s a great way to honor him.”