Accounting for the Power of Personal Interest

Andrew C. Corsini ’57 establishes the Gus Coté Scholarship Fund in honor of late accounting professor

Andrew C. CorsiniAndrew “Andy” Corsini ’57 didn’t have it easy while attending Providence College. He didn’t have much back then. But he did have the support of one professor who took a personal interest in him, even though he sometimes dozed in class after pumping gas until midnight to pay his way through college. That support, and the friendship that came afterward, is what led him to establish the Gus Coté Scholarship Fund.

Gustave C. Coté ’62Hon. was a 37-year professor of accounting at PC and professor emeritus of business administration. But for Andy Corsini, he was so much more than that.

When Corsini was a senior in high school his father died suddenly, leaving his mother to make ends meet working in a shoe factory in their hometown of Middleborough, Massachusetts. Corsini worked his way through school and commuted the 40 miles to PC and back to attend classes. In his junior year, he chose to major in accounting and began taking classes with Professor Coté.

“With only six accounting majors, we got a chance to know [Gus] and he got a chance to know us. He really took a personal interest in me. Sometimes I’d end up taking a little doze during class after working late the night before. Gus would give me a little tap and wake me up,” Corsini recalls.

“I found Gus to be a very helpful person. I felt like he really wanted to help me and the other kids. You were never just a number in his class; and if it weren’t for that closeness and personal interest that he took in me, I probably never would’ve made it through college.”

As luck would have it, PC wasn’t the only place that Corsini and Mr. Coté’s paths would cross. Years later, they ended up working for the same CPA firm in Boston for a short time. They spoke often and cemented a friendship that lasted until Mr. Coté’s passing in 2015.

“I was very fond of him, and he took a very positive interest in me and in my career. That’s why [when I decided to establish the scholarship] I made it in Gus’ name,” Corsini says.

The scholarship will benefit students majoring in accountancy, with preference given to students who come from a single-parent or single-guardian home. Corsini is funding the scholarship upon his death with a portion of the U.S. savings bonds he invested in throughout his career. The bonds are expected to be valued at more than $50,000.

“The advancement office really helped me to figure out the process of setting up the scholarship and how to do it most effectively. By donating through my will, instead of cashing the bonds and giving the money away now, I won’t have to pay income tax—so everybody benefits.”