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Malliotis Center Honors Greek-American Immigrant Philanthropist

Maliotis Center
The Maliotis Center at Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts hosted Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Elpidophoros in September of 2021. Credit: Facebook/Maliotis Center

The Maliotis Cultural Center at the Hellenic College of the Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts is a touchstone for the Greek-American community in New England.

The cultural center at Holy Cross which is named after Greek immigrant Costas Maliotis is a tribute to all he accomplished after coming to the United States as a young man in 1915.

Maliotis, who started out as an owner of a restaurant, became an industrialist, a philanthropist, and a leader in the local Greek-Orthodox community. Residing in nearby Belmont, Maliotis was active in philanthropy in the greater Boston area and abroad.

Maliotis Center made possible by legacy of Cretan immigrant to Boston area

Born in Melesses, Crete, in 1895, Maliotis came to the United States in 1915. During World War I he served in the US Army, completing a tour of duty in France. He returned to the US after the War, opening and operating a restaurant in Boston for many years, until 1945.

Related: Boston was hotbed of Philhellenism in Greek War of Independence

Maliotis founded The Mediterranean Trading Corp., with offices in Boston and Greece, in 1945. One year later he founded the Lehigh Metal Products Corp., and in subsequent years he founded the Eastern Fasteners and Freetown Screw companies in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

He and his wife, Mary (Tamiolakis) established The Maliotis House at Athens College in Greece, as well as the Maliotis Pavilion of the Venizelion Hospital at Crete, the Maliotis Room for the University of Crete, the Maliotis High School gymnasium at Melesses, Crete, and most recently funded the building and endowment of the Maliotis Cultural Center at Hellenic College in Brookline.

The entrepreneur was president of the Cultural Society of Boston in 1922 and an organizer and past president of the Demosthenes Democratic Club. He was a member of many civic and cultural associations including the American Legion and the Mixed Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America.

A phianthropist of note, Maliotis served as national president of the Pan-Cretan Association of America for four years. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Athens College, Greece; a life member of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in Brookline and a past chairman of the March of Dimes. He also served as a director of the Big Brothers Association, and vice president of the American Friends of the Blind in Greece.

As a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Boston, the immigrant to American shores was honored on many occasions by the Greek government and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America for his contributions to the betterment of his native country and his faith.

The title of “Archon” was bestowed upon Maliotis by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America on behalf of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, for his unselfish and unceasing devotion to the church’s philanthropic programs.

He received the Gold Cross of the Royal Order of the Phoenix, awarded for services to the Greek nation by the government of Greece, twice. The philanthropist, who was honored with the Man of the Year Award by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, was a recipient of the Golden Door Award from the International Institute of New England, which helps refugees and other immigrants to succeed in the United States.

Maliotis Cultural Center is hub for Hellenism in the Boston area

The Maliotis Cultural Center was built and donated to Hellenic College Holy Cross in 1974 with funds from the estate of Costas and Mary Maliotis. The two-level structure consists of a 346-seat auditorium, two 150-seat lecture areas, a 3,250-square-foot lobby/exhibit area, and administrative offices.

The purpose of the Center is to showcase various aspects of modern Greek culture, to further the interest in and understanding of Hellenic studies, and to foster the growth and development of the Hellenic College of the Holy Cross.

It is now the home to the Greek Chorale of Boston, which fosters a love for an appreciation for Greek songs and choral works. Directed by Panagiota Haloukakou, it is open to Greeks and non-Greeks who share a passion for Greek music, language, culture, and who have a deep love for singing. It is not necessary to be fluent in Greek to be part of the chorale.

Haloukakou has been leading the group since January of 2019.

The Maliotis Cultural Center’s presence and role is crucial to the cultural life of the New England Hellenic-American community. It is the only institution in the area with a mission dedicated to fostering an understanding of Hellenism and with the resources to carry out that mission.

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