Chicago, IL.- The Cathedral Hall of the prestigious University Club of Chicago was filled to capacity by family, friends and philhellenes wanting to share in the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundationʼs vision of the future of America with leaders. On Saturday evening, November 15, they saw twenty-five of Greek Americaʼs “best and brightest” receive a Certificate and a check for $10,000 each, towards their higher education from the Foundation. In his charge to the 2008 Grant Award Recipients, Foundation Founder and Chairman Chris P. Tomaras told them: “This Foundation has a single mission: to promote education by which, you, the recipients of today, will be the contributors to American society of tomorrow. Use the eternal values that you received from your Hellenic upbringing to benefit yourselves, your families and this great nation.”
Tomarasʼ charge was echoed by the Consul General of Greece in Chicago, Amb. Anastasios Petrovas, and taken up by Dimitri Fountas, one of the winners, selected to represent the 25 Grant Recipients, who expressed both their thanks and their gratitude to the Foundation.
The Awards Gala, now in its tenth year, began turning away reservations several weeks before the event. This success caps off an unparalleled year for the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, during which it received a record 215 applications from all over the U.S. The quality of the applicants was the highest ever with a large number showing GPAs of 4.0 and higher. Of these, 25 received the Grant Award of $10,000 each and a second tier of 15 received a Commendation Certificate. “Our goal is to offer cash awards to all deserving students. And we thank all that have contributed to make this happen. We continue to rely on their assistance and hope theyʼll continue with their contributions and support,” added Tomaras.
The Invocation and a special prayer were offered by His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, while the well know TV and radio broadcaster John Metaxas served as the eveningʼs Emcee. A musical interlude, provided by mandolinist Dimitri Marinos, was met with thunderous applause.
A second highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Foundationʼs annual PARADIGM AWARD to world-renowned innovator in the space arena, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. He is the Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, also of Zero Gravity Corporation and co-founder of Space Adventures, Ltd. Dr. Diamandis after the acceptance of the award he offered a powerful visual presentation with a focus on the grandiose mission of the X Prize Foundation offering prizes for breakthroughs that benefit humanity.
A number of clergy, political and civic leaders attended the event including: His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, His Grace Bishop Eirineos of New Zealand, Amb. Anastasios Petrovas, Consul General of Greece in Chicago, and Hon. Georgia Athanasopulos, Consul General of Panama in Philadelphia. Also in attendance were Chief Judge Paul Lillios, Chief Judge James Booras, Mr. John P. Calamos, Sr., Chairman and CEO of Calamos Investments, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, President of Drexel University, Demetris Kozonis, President of Chicago-Athens Sister Cities Committee, Eleni Bousis, President of Greek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Demetrios Georgakopoulos, President of Federation of Hellenic American Organization of Illinois “ENOSIS,” John Galanis, AHEPA Supreme Legal Counsel, members of the clergy, officers of universities and educational institutions, representatives of Greek American Organizations and members of the Greek American media.
The 25 Scholarship Recipients are as follows:
Dakotah Apostolou, from Northampton, Massachusetts, attending Taliesin – Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
Deborah Bouzeos, from Greenwood, Indiana, attending Wheaton College
Julian Chryssavgis, from Bath, Maine, attending Bowdoin College
Maria Cucuras, from Naperville, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
Dimitri Fountas, from Wood Dale, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
Christina Guliadis, from Fort Lee, New Jersey, attending The George Washington University
Noa Krugliak, from Chicago, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Chicago
Christianna Kyriacou, from Burbank, California, attending The University of Southern California
Nicholas Lillios, from Northbrook, Illinois, attending University of Wisconsin – Madison
Yanni Louloudis, from Fairfield, Connecticut, attending Northeastern University (Boston)
Gabrielle Mannino, from New Berlin, Wisconsin attending University of Wisconsin – Madison
William Menegas, from Palatine, Illinois, attending University of Chicago
Ypapanti Meris, from Campbell, Ohio, attending Youngstown State University
Stephanie Michael, from Potomac, Maryland, attending University of Maryland
Paulena Papagiannis, from Hyattsville, Maryland, attending Oberlin College & Conservatory of Music
Kostas Papamarkakis, from Springfield, Massachusetts, attending Northeastern University (Boston)
Ellie Proussaloglou, from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, attending Duke University
Alyssa-Marie Robidoux, from Natick, Massachusetts attending Bryant University
Margaret Roidi, from Ridgewood, New Jersey, attending Fairleigh Dickinson University
John Strzelecki, from Manchester, Missouri, attending Georgia Institute of Technology
Elisabet Tassis, from Potomac, Maryland, attending John Hopkins University
Peter Tselepatiotis, from Norridge, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Chicago
Christopher Tsoukalas, from Burbank, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
Paraskevas Xenophontos, from Ronkonkoma, New York, attending Stony Brook University
Peter Zervakis, from Darien, Illinois, attending University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign