Mark Kavanaugh ’90 is an avid Penn Stater. Ask any of his friends, neighbors, coworkers or clients. And although he has spent the past 13 years working in Manhattan, most recently as a founding partner in the public accounting firm Cotter & Kavanaugh LLP, his Penn State experience still very much defines who he is. “It’s not hard to understand why I’m such a Penn Stater,” Kavanaugh says. “As the son of a Penn State professor, and the youngest of five kids to attend Penn State, I lived my entire life in State College until I graduated in 1990.”

Yet, with all of Kavanaugh’s connections to the University and the town, he credits his years as an undergraduate student those that made him a Penn Stater for life.

“My education prepared me for my career,” Kavanaugh says. “But I don’t love Penn State just for my diploma. I could have received an accounting degree from any number of schools, but I would never have found my Chi Phi experience anywhere else. So for me, being a Penn Stater and a Chi Phi are forever intertwined.”

Cotter & Kavanaugh has provided accounting, tax and consulting services for some of the largest real estate projects across the country—from Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn to Legacy Partners’ revitalization of Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles. Before brick can be set with mortar, Kavanaugh’s group works with developers to structure deals, obtain financing, and qualify for incentive programs including real estate tax abatements and income tax credits. His work has allowed him to witness progress being made from the ground up.

“I’m proud to see Penn State thriving in ways I never could have imagined as a State College kid,” he says. “Unfortunately, Chi Phi at Penn State is fighting to exist. The thought of Penn State without Chi Phi makes me very uneasy.”

Kavanaugh has seen countless projects go from concept to completion. And he is confident in A Foundation for the Kingdom, the capital campaign for Alpha Delta because he believes other alumni share his personal connection to the brotherhood and to our house at 360 East Hamilton.

“The good news is that we have the money to do this,” he says. “The bad news is that it’s still in our pockets.”

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