The Pause for Coz

A way to honor a mentor and friend

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During his three decades at SCU, Fr. Richard Coz served as mentor and friend to thousands of students. One of them was Steve Erbst '88. "You could go to him for help or advice," says Erbst, who regularly visited Coz at the Jesuit residence in Los Gatos, where the retired priest lived until he passed away in December. "He was that calming voice who was there when you needed him."

Some years out of school, Erbst found himself thinking about how he could give back to Santa Clara. "There hadn't been a scholarship in Fr. Coz's name, and he had recently retired," Erbst says, "so I thought it was a good time to do something."

The Pause for Coz campaign was born. With a list of 60 e-mail contacts, Erbst sent out word—and that word has spread: Over five years, the grassroots alumni giving endeavor has raised more than $570,000 and has offset the cost of tuition for half a dozen students. Erbst underscores that while he might have spearheaded the effort, it's been a tremendous collective endeavor involving hundreds of alumni.

Erbst says, "I want people to get involved because they have a connection with Coz. It's about the celebration of the man and the things he supported—club sports, student government, studies abroad." And, Erbst notes, the scholarship fund is still working toward its goal of $1 million.

This year, for the annual Pause for Coz Celebration, supporters will gather April 16 at Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos. A silent auction, raffle, food, and games are in store; and the new scholarship recipients will be introduced.

Fr. Coz had a powerful, transformative effect on so many lives, Erbst underscores—and that has inspired alumni to support the University as a way of paying tribute to his legacy. More than that, Erbst hopes that the Pause for Coz effort can serve as a kind of model: that it might inspire other alumni to honor the mentors at Santa Clara who have made such a difference in their lives.

Adam Breen

For more information on the Pause for Coz Endowed Scholarship or the annual celebration, visit or call 408-554-4981.

Pause for Coz
   Baptism: Richard Coz, S.J.
  Photo: Courtesy Steve Erbst ’88

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