Jack Koval, a recent Goizueta Business School graduate, died in New York City after he was struck by a car while crossing the West Side Highway July 31. He was 22 years old.
According to Koval’s mother and father, Bobbi and Joe Koval, Koval was struck by a vehicle while crossing the West Side Highway crosswalk around 2:15 a.m.
After graduating with distinction and concentrations in both finance and mathematics, Koval interned with the New York City investment banking firm Centerview Partners in Summer 2015, and was offered a full-time position as an analyst at the end of his internship, which he accepted. He moved to New York the last week of June 2016, and began his job July 6. His apartment was located on 12th Avenue and 42nd Street, just four blocks away from the accident, according to his parents.
Koval was a valuable member of business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi) during his time at Emory, said AKPsi President and B-School junior Grace Cleland.
“[Jack] was really one of the faces of the club,” Cleland said. “He was always promoting [AKPsi] and had such a passion for learning.”
At Emory, Koval also served as Club Tennis’ recruitment chair and, later, its treasurer. He was also an executive member of Emory Entrepreneur and Venture Management (EEVM).
“It’s really sad to know that we won’t get to see what he could have accomplished and what impact he would have had on the world,” said Aaron Weiner (15B), an Emory alumnus who also worked at Centerview.
Koval’s mother recalled a time when her son helped a fellow student who was interviewing at a company to which he was also applying. For Koval’s mother, this epitomizes her son’s constant willingness to lend a hand.
“A lot of people knew him, and knew he always had a smile,” she said. “He took time from his own schedule to help anyone … From the day he was born, we knew what we had was unlike anyone else.”
Michael Bauman (16B), one of Koval’s close friends at Emory and with whom Koval traveled twice in the past two years, said the two planned to go on trips together annually.
“It’s sad that those [trips] are obviously never going to happen, but I am happy about [the two we did take] and appreciate that they did happen,” Bauman said. “Those were the most special moments.”
Bryce Robertson (16B), Koval’s roommate when he died, remembered Koval’s tenacious spirit.
Robertson has been handling the tragedy the way he thinks Koval himself would: “The way I go about it is the way Jack thought about life … Whatever life throws at you, you can either get hit with it, or you can keep going … Jack would not just give up,” Robertson said.
Koval’s parents hope the accident will create awareness regarding pedestrian deaths caused by vehicles.
“The frequency of pedestrians getting hit by cars in Manhattan is unbelievably high,” Koval’s mother said. “We’re hoping to create dignity for any pedestrian who is hit by a car. Jack is so many more things than just a kid jumping into traffic. How far he would’ve gone is only out in the stars to know.”
Koval’s parents held a gathering in their hometown, Rochester, New York, which over 300 people attended, according to his mother. Attendees traveled from all over the country to honor Koval.
In addition to the gathering in Koval’s honor, his parents also set up a foundation in his name. The Jack D. Koval Fund for Business Clothing will provide assistance to those in need of proper business attire for interviews, working and more.
According to Koval’s mother, he always liked to look and feel good with regard to his choice of clothing. Bauman agreed, saying that Koval enjoyed high-fashion products.
“[The foundation] makes a lot of sense for Jack,” Bauman said.
Koval is survived by his parents, Bobbi and Joe Koval.