Athanasiades Scholarships Promote Hellenism among the Middle Class

New York.-  “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;  what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal,” said Albert Pike, American lawyer, journalist and soldier (1809-1891). This was the principle that guides the life of Kostas Athanasiades and his late wife Maria Athanasiades. In a time of cutbacks in education and scholarships, the Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc. continues to give a record amount of scholarships to middle class students. On Sunday, Nov. 28th,  the Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc. held their 18th Annual Awards on Sunday  afternoon. The event was held in the hall of the Athanasiades Cultural Center at 30-96 42 St., Astoria, New York. Over one hundred persons filled the hall to see their youth receive this prestigious award.

The program speakers were Mihalis Michalakopoulos, Founder and former president of the Peloponnesian Union;  John G. Siolas, Ph.D., Professor , St. John’s University, The Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc., Catherine Tsounis; James Stathopoulos, Esq., The Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc.,: Michael Servos, President Hellenic community of Florida, The Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc., and Christos G. Tzelios. A reception followed.

The 2010 scholars include:   Kleantie Lathourakis, Education, Queens College; Androniki  Podaras, Undecided, Pace University; George C. Papadopoulos, Chemistry, Brooklyn College; Sable Diakos, English; Jason Efthimiades, Mathematics, Queens College; Vasiliki  Athanasiou, Biology,  Kathy Dimos, Childhood Education, Queens College;  Michele Scopelitis Taylor, Literature, Yale University; Zoi Kourkoumelis, Legal Studies;  Thomaitsa Halkias, Nursing, Adelphi University;  Petroula I Vatakis, English, Queens College; Stavroula Economou, Com.Sci. Disorders, Queens College;  Elena Christine Toumaras, Nutrition & Exer Sci, Queens College; Constantine Gurlakis, Govt. & Politics; Eriona K. Dhimo, Medical Sciences, Tirana University; Eleni Catsimalis, Pharmacy, L.I. University; Gregory Christod, Finance; Mimi Hatzis, Environment, Hunter College;  Ilva K. Dhimo, Social Work, Tirana University; Emily Polihrom, Education, NYU;  Katherine Kaloumenos, Psychology; Bridget K. Barry, Management; Eleni Hatzis, Legal Studies, John Jay College;  Maggie Christodoulou, Mathematics, Queenasw College; Ismini Moshopoulos, Accounting; Themistocles Efthimiades, Education/Biology; Leander Kobolakis, Medical Sciences, Bard College; Christopher Nicolas Raia, English, Stony Brook; Andrew Souvaliotis, Biology; Gregory Melissinos, Psychology, Fordham University; Dina Kospetas, Psychology, Hunter College; Dennis Moshopoulos, Finance; Sarah K. Polihrom, Art, Gordon College.

“The Greek language is spoken all over the world,” said Christos G. Tzelios, of the Athanasiades Cultural Foundation, Inc.  “Greek is part of the English language spoken by all countries. The greatest accomplishment of the Ancient Greeks is their language. Greek is the basis of the Sciences, Engineering and Philosophy. One does not become a doctor without knowing Greek.” Dr. Peter Raia, a prominent Southampton physician, learned Ancient Greek in order to complete medical school studies in Thessalonica, Greece. Greek is even part of computer terminology.

“Xenophon Zolotas spoke two English speeches using Greek words,” said Mr. Tzelios. “The speech was published on the front page of the New York Times.” For more information, visit http://www.greeknewsonline.com/?p=1554.

“Costas Athanasiades, author of the former Campana newspaper, invites cultural organizations for the past twenty years to work with our Foundation for the spread of Hellenism,” explained Mr. Tzelios. “We encourage the Greek embassy to promote Hellenism overseas,. Perpetuation of our ethnicity is in danger, with a movement towards globalization. Maria Athanasiades, his late wife, supported his work, remaining in the shadows. She encouraged Mr. Athanasiades to grant awards to college students as a means of perpetuating his influence in American society.”

“Costas Athanasiades could not have achieved so much without the full support, cooperation, help, love and encouragement of his devoted  late wife, Maria,” said Mr. Tzelios and his wife Vivi.  Mrs. Athanasiades was working while her husband was publishing the non-profit Cambana newspaper. She was a fair and just person. They do not come like her anymore. A patriotic, courageous woman, she came from the Pontos.”

“Mr. Costas Athanasiades believes every person is responsible for his/her condition on the local, national and international level,” said Tzelios. “The Veterans of the Foreign Wars of the United States honored the journalist in 2004 for his “faithful support of America’s deserving veterans and their families.” The organization stated in the citation that “patriotic Americans like you, Mr. Athanasiades, ensure that our nation remains ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave for generations to come’.” The benefactor was inducted as a member of the “National Library of Congress.” The Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney honored the author in the March 2001 “Congressional Record”.

Costas Athanasiades was born in Kalavasos, Cyprus on March 3, 1921.

He studied in Italy and acquired a degree as an agriculturalist. He served valiantly with British Commander Montgomery’s Cypriot troops during the WWII. He fought for the freedom of Cyprus. He fought for a free Cyprus regardless of his personal freedom. He is viewed by many as a Cypriot national hero. Later he immigrated to the United States in 1959. Mr. Athanasiades purchased the “Campana” newspaper in 1961. He has authored more than a dozen books over the years. He has been cited for his insights and contributions by prestigious institutions, including the National Library of Congress and the United Nations.

Costas Athanasiades has been challenging the status quo since the 1950’s. “ I have been honored by George Bush twice and Ronald Reagan,” said Costas Athanasiades  at a previous event. “Our Foundation gives scholarships with the hope that others will follow our example. One hundred universities have honored me with their presidents’ giving me the highest honors. What ever we do, we do without publicity. From the day I came to America, I do everything from the heart for my adopted country.” The Athanasiades Foundation’s philosophy is epitomized in Percy Bysshe Shelley quotation. “We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their roots in Greece.”  Stavroula Economou, a 2010 scholarship winner said “we all have a responsibility to carry on our Greek language and heritage.” Christopher Nicolas Raia said, “My papou knew Mr. Athanasiades in Kalavaso, Cyprus in the late 1940’s. I am honored to be helped by you, a gnostos (a friend) of my beloved Papou and a Cypriot hero.”  Mr. Kostas Athanasiades has gained immortality in the minds of every generation he has touched.

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