Honoring the Sacrifices of Others: Maureen Savko and Cory McCowen give back

Maureen Savko and Cory McCowen

Neither Maureen “Mo” Savko nor her partner Cory McCowen is an alumna of Ohio State. But individually and together, they are Buckeyes through and through.

In 2006, Savko and McCowen established The Savko Family Endowed Fund for Religious Studies in honor of their mothers and to ensure that future generations of students have the opportunity to explore issues around faith, religion and culture.

“The spirit of Ohio State is a family affair,” said Savko. “We want to be part of that.”

Growing up in Columbus, Savko watched her parents sacrifice so that she and her siblings could have a better life.

“My mother was the most religious person I ever knew,” said Savko. “She worked two jobs to put us through Catholic schools; the midnight shift at Worthington Foods and a day shift at the school cafeteria.”

Cory McCowen's mother and Mo Savko's parents with Bishop Griffin.

Savko and McCowen established The Savko Family Endowed Fund in honor of their mothers.

Savko’s mother died suddenly in 2003. A friend reached out to her and they talked about how best to honor her mother’s legacy of sacrifice.

“When I found out that Ohio State had a new religious studies area, it just hit me,” said Savko. “What better way to pay tribute to my mother and ensure that her spirit touches the lives of future generations?”

McCowen, a California native, shares a similar experience, growing up with a mother who sacrificed much and left a lasting impression.

“My mother was a single mom and she did everything possible to make life better for me and my brother. I remember her taking us to a different church every year — to help us learn about and appreciate others’ religions. She wanted to open our minds.”

Savko and McCowen live in Florida; Savko is retired from Timken (Columbus) and McCowen is retired from UPS (Atlanta). Although they are a bit of a drive from Columbus, their hearts are with Ohio State.

“I’m a Buckeye convert,” said McCowen. “The first time I watched Script Ohio in the stadium, tears came to my eyes. What struck me about Ohio State is the fact that it’s a family. I felt the spirt of Ohio State all around me.”

Savko’s niece is a recent alumna of Ohio State and a current university employee.

“Ohio State really is a family,” said Savko. “It permeates across generations and geography.”

Savko and McCowen are thinking about adopting two kittens. They’ve picked out their names; Scarlet and Gracie.