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Faces of Philanthropy: Joseph C. Korsak

Joseph C. KorsakAlthough Joseph C. Korsak, a 1971 Penn State graduate, lawyer, and world traveler, is not a graduate of The Dickinson School of Law, in honor of his sixtieth birthday and his Penn State pride, his family made a gift to the Law School on his behalf. A plaque recognizing their generous contribution is now at home in the Lewis Katz Building's James W. Durham Reading Room of the H. Laddie Montague Law Library. For the past ten years, Korsak and his wife have supported the Korsak Family Scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts. "Someone helped me through every stage of my life," said Korsak. "No one is so talented that they can do it alone. That is why I have to give back."

It was Korsak's experience at Penn State as a history major that whet his appetite for travel. "Penn State has been the single most important institutional influence in my life," said Korsak, whose family includes three generations of Penn State graduates. "While I was growing up in New Jersey, Penn State was the favorite college team for the New York Daily News," said Korsak. "I read the heroics every Sunday morning. I knew I had to go there. I knew at least one of my kids would have to." His father, Joseph G. Korsak, was a 1938 graduate. His son Adam is a 1999 graduate, and son Michael a 2001 graduate. His daughter, Ann, visited her brothers so much at Penn State that she decided to get a different perspective and attended American University. "Penn State gave me the opportunity to develop a circle of friendships around the country," said Korsak. "I have fraternity brothers (Phi Kappa Psi) I exchange emails with every two or three days."

Korsak also loves adventure. "Who said adventure in your life is dead?" asks Korsak. "The other day my wife, Marilyn, and I were at a hotel bar in Puerto Vallarta and three Irishmen sat down beside us," said Korsak.

"Fertig, Barry, and David were all from Monaghan, Ireland. They recently finished as guest workers in Canada because they couldn't get jobs in Ireland. They decided to drive from Toronto to Michigan, then west to Montana, and then north to Alberta. They flew from Alberta to Puerto Vallarta, on their way to tour the western and eastern coasts of South America on motorcycles. There is no more broadening an experience than travel."

Korsak has completed the Pilgrims' Walk on the Camino de Santiago across Spain, explored the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, toured the Gaudi Architecture of Barcelona, visited a balsamic vinegar farm in San Propero, Italy, and viewed Rio de Janiero from the Cristo Redentor statue. "Marilyn, whom I met while in law school at the University of Toledo, and I travel extensively," said Korsak. "We just like being in each other's company."

Korsak is a labor/employment attorney practicing in York and in an of counsel position with the Mazza Law Group in State College. "I take great satisfaction in helping employees in the great hostile world we call 'at-will employment,'" said Korsak. "It’s brutal, but when I can even the score, I am ecstatic."

Korsak received a juris doctor from the University of Toledo in 1975 and an LL.M. in labor law from Temple University in 1983. He is a member of the York County Bar Association, Centre County Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. If he's not in his office, the odds are he's seized an opportunity for a new adventure.