The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation was proud to successfully welcome over 660 guests to Chicago to recognize 51 exceptional scholarship recipients of Hellenic descent, while awarding $325,000 in scholarships, honoring 1 Paradigm Award recipient, welcoming 15 industry-leading mentors, and continuing to further the Foundation’s mission of going “Beyond A Scholarship.”
The PanHellenic Gala Weekend began on June 16th, 2023, with a Welcome Reception hosted at Holland & Knight, graciously sponsored by Elias N. Matsakis, Esq., the Foundation’s pro bono legal counsel. The Welcome Reception provided an opportunity for the scholarship recipients, alumni, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Academic Committee Members to get to know one another ahead of the weekend’s events. The reception featured a warm welcome by Trustee Tom Sotos, who gave a heartfelt tribute to the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation’s Founder, Chris Tomaras, and encouraged new recipients to stay involved with the Foundation as they continue with their studies and careers
On the afternoon of June 17th, 2023, over 160 attendees, consisting of current scholarship recipients, PanHellenic alumni, industry-leading mentors, and young professionals, participated in the 7th Annual Mentorship Luncheon, held in partnership with The Hellenic Initiative, and generously underwritten by Nicholas W. Alexos. The luncheon provided an intimate setting for participants to receive career advice and guidance from 15 mentors who are leaders in their fields – ranging from business, law, medicine, finance, entrepreneurship, and more. A panel discussion followed, where participants heard from select mentors representing various industries. This year’s Mentorship Luncheon panelists were: Tina Courpas, Executive Director of the Hellenic Initiative; Vicky Kalogera, astrophysicist and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics at Northwestern University; Louis Theros, Vice President and Legal Counsel, MGM Resorts International, Midwest Group; Orestis Vardoulis, CEO of Zeit Medical; and Honorable Judge Thomas Varlan, United States District Judge and United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
AWARDS CEREMONY & GALA
The weekend culminated with the 2023 Awards Ceremony & Gala. The Gala was emceed by the weekend morning anchor and general assignment reporter at NBC Chicago, Kate Chappell.
Trustee John Manos and Internship Committee Co-Chair, Eunice Buhler, announced the incredible PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation’s Class of 2023, which were awarded over $300,000 in scholarships.
For a third year, The Leadership Fellowship recipients, sponsored by The Renaissance Fund, were announced. These 4 select students will receive a renewable $30,000 scholarship to be distributed over the next 3 years if a Sophomore, or a renewable $20,000 scholarship to be distributed over the next 2 years if a Junior. The 2021 Leadership Fellows, Yanni Patitsas, Mina Baniewicz, and Chiara Munzi, were brought up to accept their third and final scholarship check; the 2022 Leadership Fellows, Helen Georgitsos, Zoe Pozios, and Alexia Maniadaki accepted their second check and announced the 2023 Leadership Fellows: Christopher Alexopoulos, Andreana Kekempanos, Emma Robinson, and Andrew Theophanous.
Stellene Volandes, Editor in Chief of Town & Country magazine, was awarded the 2023 Paradigm Award. In her speech to the 2023 scholarship recipients, Ms. Volandes encouraged the students to work hard on achieving their dreams and to continue carrying the torch on behalf of our ancestors. “Hard work and humility” are the two greatest gifts her parents and her Greek heritage have awarded her. Humility, because no job is too small, and hard work, because no job is too big either. Like our ancestors who voyaged to a new world, often with nothing but a dream, she believes we must be fearless, or rather, it’s OK to be afraid, but go for it anyway.
The Chairman of the Foundation, Robert A. Buhler, gave his remarks during the Awards ceremony, and addressed the 4 key ways in which the organization goes “Beyond a Scholarship:” welcoming scholars as family through the Welcome Reception, focusing on mentoring through the Mentorship Luncheon, providing jobs through the Internship Initiative, and fostering donor/scholar relationships through formal matching. Mr. Buhler also greatly recognized the formal support and advice the 60+ member Advisory Board provided to the foundation.
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation was proud to welcome to the 2023 Awards Ceremony & Gala, Her Excellency Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. It was an honor for the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation and the Hellenic community of Chicago to welcome Her Excellency on her first visit to Chicago. Her Excellency was joined by Consul General Emmanuel Koubarakis and Consul Georgia Tasiopoulou.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago graciously attended the event and provided the Invocation before dinner. The night concluded with dancing and live entertainment provided by the Mylos Band of New York.
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is grateful for the people involved in the creation of the 2023 Awards Ceremony and Gala:
Robert A. Buhler, Chairman
John G. Manos, Treasurer
Athan P. Sotos, Esq., Secretary
Ted Argeroplos, Director
Peter Bartzis, Director
Tassos F. Chronopoulos, Director
John W. Galanis, Esq., Director
Demetrios L. Kozonis, Director
Perry C. Siatas, Esq., Director
John T. Sotos, Director
Yanni A. Valsamas, Director
Danni Varlan, Director
PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Staff
Vasiliki Panos, Senior Director
Elizabeth Danielides, Director of Scholarships
Georgia Arvanitis, Director of Alumni
Fotini Anastopoulos, Director of Communications
Jordan George, Director of Internships
Danielle Arvanitis, Intern
Tassos Malliaris, PhD, Chairman
Lia Alexopoulos, MA
Nicholas Bambos, PhD
Michael B. Cosmopoulos, PhD
Sharon E.J. Gerstel, PhD
Maria Kaliambou, PhD
Aggelos K. Katsaggelos, PhD
Young Kim, PhD
Despina Margamenou, PhD
Georgia S. Mitchell, MFA
Gregory Prastacos, PhD
Stavroula Sofou, PhD
Angeliki Tzanetou, PhD