This month, Saint Ignatius offers hearty congratulations to Mike Cosgriff, Director of Finance, on his retirement after 30 years of service.
As Finance Director, Cosgriff has overseen a lot of the financial operations of the school, including cash flow, investments, banking relationships, borrowings, insurance, and accounting. He’s been the lynchpin of the Finance team, helping teach and train everyone who has joined throughout his career here.
“He’s just an absolute encyclopedia of what has gone on during his 30 years here,” says Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Klingshirn ’79. “He has a lot of relationships with people at the school, people outside, and really has a handle on the history of why we do things the way that we do them.”
Patti Walcutt, Controller, has worked with Cosgriff for eight years. She credits him with helping her to feel welcome and enjoy her job every day since she began working here.
“From the minute I walked in he was just so kind and welcoming, and I realized very quickly that he had this breadth of knowledge about this place,” she says. “He just doesn’t forget anything.”
Cosgriff was not always one to write all that history down, so Walcutt made it her mission to record as much of his institutional memory as possible.
“He’s been so wonderful at passing on that knowledge,” Walcutt says. “I will be forever grateful for the eight years. It’s been such a blessing to work with him. He’s such a joyful person.”
“Mike can definitely take a joke and give a joke. He has a great sense of humor,” Klingshirn says. “He does it all with an element of professionalism. He’s a very mission-focused guy.”
That much is quite clear to anyone who knows Cosgriff. He is a regular at the Friday morning and all-school Masses. He has helped out as a co-moderator for the Rini Family Christmas Food Drive. He always took time out to sit in the comfy chairs in the Principal’s office and dedicate a few minutes in prayer during the Daily Examen.
“He really has a good sense of what it means to be at Saint Ignatius High School,” Klingshirn says.
“He’s just such a humble man,” says Walcutt.
Cosgriff seemingly has friends across campus, too. Julian Flowers in Campus Operations is one of them; the two have been buddies for almost 26 years, sharing laughs during the workday and meals after hours.
“He’s a good guy, always got a smile on his face—and funny,” Flowers says. “He’s a good man, but don’t tell him I said that! You couldn’t write a better article for a better person.”
For the last seven or eight years, Cosgriff regularly walked the track at lunchtime with Ed Sas, also of the Campus Operations team. Cosgriff was raised in Euclid and Sas is from Garfield Heights, and they connected over their shared experiences and perspectives.
“You know when you meet someone with whom you’re a kindred spirit, or you find something interesting and then you start talking, that’s what we bonded over,” Sas says. “He’s personable. He wants to always talk and see how you’re doing. We’ll miss him.”
Cosgriff’s sense of fun has also infused the entire Finance office. They coordinate a costume theme every year for Halloween, and Cosgriff is a dad joke aficionado. While he has taken his job seriously, he’s found ways to help foster a work environment that keeps spirits up.
“Because of Mike’s joy and energy and kindness, he just makes that everyday office environment a great place to be,” Walcutt says. “We’re happy to come in, we’re happy to see him, and he’s just a good person to work with every day. As boring as accounting can be, Mike can make it fun.”
We know that Cosgriff will certainly enjoy retirement with his wife, Ann. The die-hard Cleveland sports and Ohio State fan is already looking forward to spring training in Arizona next March.
Congratulations on a very well deserved retirement, Mike! Thank you for your dedication to your team and to the mission of Saint Ignatius High School.
by Connor Walters '09