“San Jose State gave me an education, helped me pass the CPA exam and enabled me to have a 35-year career doing something I really loved here in Silicon Valley. We’re very grateful.” —Mark Loveless, ’78 Accounting
Mark and Kathy Loveless moved to San Jose from Virginia in the mid-1970s. The high school sweethearts married at 18. Mark had enlisted in the military while Kathy studied medical technology. After his honorable discharge, Mark studied with Kathy in Virginia until she graduated, at which point they loaded up their Plymouth Fury and drove west. Though Mark’s G.I. Bill helped pay for college, the 22-year-old was motivated to get through college quickly.
“I was married and had a pregnant wife,” says Mark, ’78 Accounting. “I took up to 20 units a semester so I could get through college in three years and a semester. Three days after I took my last final, I was working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where I stayed for 22 years as an assurance partner in their technology sector. After a brief stint as a CFO at a software company, I returned to public accounting as a managing partner at Burr Pilger Mayer. I ended up having a 35-year accounting career, which I wouldn’t have had without San Jose State. That’s one of the reasons we felt it important to give back.”
Accounting offered Mark stability and helped him build skills in sales, marketing, business and finance. Kathy worked as a medical technologist at Good Samaritan Hospital while they raised two daughters. After they retired, the longtime annual supporters of SJSU established the Mark and Kathy Loveless Scholarship for service members and military veterans in the accounting department.
“San Jose State gave us a good life and we wanted to aid those who have done service for our country and now need help continuing their studies so they can go on to be productive citizens,” says Kathy.
After meeting scholarship recipients and seeing the difference their support made, Mark and Kathy provided a provision in their estate plan to permanently endow the fund. Veterans and service members will continue to benefit from their generosity for years to come.
“Generally, veterans or service members are in their 20s and, chances are, they have been on their own for a while,” says Mark. “They may be further along in their lives so it’s harder for them to take off the time to get an education. I remember how scarce the money was when we were doing it. Hopefully our scholarship helps.”