PanHellenic Scholarship Recipients Receive $250,000 in Cash Awards at This Year’s Event
Chicago, IL - The well-deserving 2014 Scholarship Award Recipients were called one by one to the stage to receive their certificates and scholarship checks in a room filled with close to 500 friends and supporters of the Foundation on Saturday June 14, at the International Ballroom of the prestigious Hilton Chicago. At this Awards Ceremony, a total of $250,000 was distributed to 40 of the “best and brightest” Greek American students from across the country, all of them great academic achievers, with some of them attending several of the country’s most prestigious universities.
“It is with great pride that we offer these awards as we believe our young “stars” deserve the recognition and encouragement while they receive meaningful support so that they can successfully continue their academic journey” said Chris P. Tomaras, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation. Of the 40 students, 20 with economic need received $10,000 each while another 20, from a more comfortable economic background, received $2,500 each.
An exceptional performance by Pete Zervakis as Master of Ceremonies, a product of the Foundation as a 2008 scholarship recipient himself, provided an outline of the background and the success of the organization, followed by an address and advice to the students by the Foundation’s Executive Director Yanni Valsamas, and words of admiration regarding the high caliber and academic excellence of all the candidates by the Chairman of the Academic Committee, Dr. George Alexopoulos, prior to the distribution of the Awards.
This year’s Paradigm Award was offered to James D. Speros, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Fidelity Investments who delivered a powerful speech and advice to the scholarship recipients urging them to be proud of their name and carry it responsibly, with honor and respect, while always applying in their daily lives the values of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
Mr. Tomaras concluded the Awards Ceremony by first expressing his thanks and gratitude to the many benefactors and donors for their support of the Foundation, then to the Board of Directors, the independent Academic Committee for their selection of the scholarship recipients, the very supportive Advisory Board and all the staff members and volunteers for their dedicated work on the Foundation. In his message to the scholarship recipients, Mr. Tomaras offered three words with profound meaning: Live, Learn and Lead. He advised the recipients to live life to the fullest and absorb the benefits from every new experience but to also “live honorably, with respect for yourself, your family and others, to act responsibly, proud of your ethnic identity with dignity, maturity and wisdom.” He encouraged the recipients to never stop learning, and closed by saying “I want you to become leaders with passion, excitement and with the ability to innovate and create.”
After the success of Hellenic Birthright, a study abroad and cultural enrichment program sponsored by the Foundation in cooperation with Anatolia College, for students who never visited Greece before, Mr. Tomaras announced that the American College of Greece in Athens, known as Deree, has offered exclusively to all past and present PanHellenic Scholarship Recipients, a $3,000 study abroad scholarship per student, per semester. Students would be able to earn up to 15 transferable credits per semester, while experiencing Greece's culture and history.
With the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony, guests enjoyed delicious appetizers and dinner, with musical entertainment by the Hellenic 5 Orchestra and the songs of Babis Tsertos, who came from Greece exclusively for this event and offered his performance pro-bono.
A number of Church and Community leaders attended the event that included His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, the Hon. Consul General of Greece in Chicago Ioanna Efthymiadou, His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the Hon. Judge Paul Lillios, the Hon. Judge James Booras, the Hon. Judge Louis Apostle, the Provost of Deree College, Dr. Thimios Zaharopoulos, and several educational and business personalities and members of the press. “Indeed, this year’s Gala turned out to be a celebration of the impact the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation has had on the youth of the Greek American community over the last 12 years under your dedicated commitment” said Dr. Thanasis Bournakis, a former professor of Energy Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
June 23, 2014
The Foundation expresses a special thanks to all of the donors who took part in the Chairman’s Challenge initiative. Among them, the following list is the Premier Benefactors who each provided a $10,000 scholarship. “We are deeply indebted to everyone for their donation whether large or small. Together, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of Greek American college students who will become life-long significant achievers” said Mr. Tomaras.
Ms. Helen Tomaras Astin, The Nicholas J. & Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Dimitri & Eleni Bousis & Family, Robert & Violetta Buhler Family, Tassos F. Chronopoulos Family, The Jaharis Family, Mr. & Mrs. George Marcus, Drs. A. Tom & Katherine Petropulos, Dr. George Skarpathiotis Family.
2014 Scholarship Award Recipients:
Steve Eustratios Alexander III, Georgia Institute of Technology Maria Anastasia Arianas, University of Illinois at Chicago Aristos Athanasiou Athens, Stanford University
Nicholas Chingas, Saint Joseph’s University
Marie Steven Christophell, DePaul University
Costa Dimitrios Christopoulos, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Timothy Christopher Daly, Pennsylvania State University
Peter Michail Danos, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Talia Lasandra Davis, Arizona State University
Christopher Steven-James Deloglos, Virginia Commonwealth University Anastasia Fitzpatrick, Utica College
Jennifer Andrea Fokas, Northwestern University
Sophia Joy Gianou, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
Julia Mary Horiates, East Carolina University
Jason Keith Ioannides, Virginia Tech
Christina G. Karahalios, DePaul University
George John Kartsounis, Virginia Tech
Katherine Valerie Katsivalis, University of Illinois at Chicago
Christina Khouri, Illinois Wesleyan University
Katherine Demi Kokkinias, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Jason Kourkouvis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Malamo Koutsogiannis, CUNY Hunter College
Margarita Sanchez Montgomery, Dartmouth College
Dimitrios George Nikitopoulos, Johns Hopkins University
Dimitrios Pagonakis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evangelia Maria Pagones, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Christina Maria Palis, University of Rochester
Patrice Victoria Pirpiris, Loyola University – Chicago
Katerina Finny Powers, Michigan State University
Alexander George Przeslawski, Dartmouth College
Kathy Golfo Rodogiannis, Trinity College
Vasilis Vournous Sitaras, New York University
Nicholas John Sotos, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Samuel Patrick Sullivan, The University of Chicago
Katerina Christina Svigos, New York University
Thomas Stavros Topalis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Dimitris S. Tselepatiotis, University of Illinois at Chicago
Sofia Eleni Vatougios, Saint Xavier University
William George Vergados, University of Illinois at Chicago
Victor Angelos Zaharopoulos, University of Kansas
About the Foundation
Established officially in 2002, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building a better America through Education and Hellenism. After awarding $250,000 earlier this June, the Foundation has awarded a total of $2 million to 264 outstanding Greek American undergraduates to date.
For more information about the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, please visit our website.