Forty-five young Greek American students who have the potential to become life-long significant achievers will be awarded scholarships by the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation at a ceremony and gala slated for June 17th at Hilton Chicago.
Dedicated to promoting education and leadership, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and honors exceptional undergraduate students of Hellenic descent, supporting their efforts with significant monetary awards based on academic merit and financial need.
But how do you choose 45 students from hundreds of applications?
“It is one of the most difficult part of the things we do,” Ted Argeroplos, Director of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation tells Greek Reporter.
“The first 40-45 students are equally as good as the next 40-45 kids. The competition is ridiculous. All kids are amazing. They are great achievers, they are among the best in their school.”
Argeroplos says that the academic committee comprised of professors from across the country is involved in a painful procedure. “They want to give scholarships to everyone.”
Of the 200 applications received this year, they winnowed them down to 45, including needs-based and non-needs-based applicants.
Each year, the foundation awards $250,000 in scholarships. $20,000 of the $250,000 are allocated to the Music and Arts, made possible by the late George and Angela Paterakis.
The Awards of $250,000 are offered at two levels: Twenty (20) Awards of $2,500 based on academic achievement, and twenty (20) Awards of $10,000 based on academic achievement and financial need.
“With further donations, we hope to give all the worthy kids scholarships,” Argeroplos says.
Founded in 2002 by Greek-American businessman and philanthropist Chris Tomaras, the mission of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is to promote education by providing scholarships and programs to Greek American students who, guided by the values of their Hellenic upbringing, have the potential to become life-long significant achievers and contribute meaningfully to society.
As Argeroplos explains the mission is not only to provide scholarships. The Foundation provides a mentorship program.
“We require our mentors to stay with the students for at least a year, so they can provide them with the knowledge to advance in their studies and future career. Knowledge is the most important thing.”
PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation gala weekend
The weekend will begin on June 16th, 2023, with a Welcome Reception hosted at Holland & Knight. The Welcome Reception will provide 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.
On the afternoon of June 17th, 2023, over 150 attendees, consisting of current scholarship recipients, PanHellenic alumni, industry-leading mentors, and young professionals, will attend the 7th Annual Mentorship Luncheon – held in partnership with the Hellenic Initiative.
This luncheon will be an intimate setting for participants to receive career advice and guidance from 13 mentors who are leaders in their fields – ranging from business, law and medicine to finance, education, and more.
The weekend will culminate with the 2023 Awards Ceremony & Gala on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 at the Hilton Chicago. The 2023 Awards Ceremony & Gala will be emceed by the Weekend Morning Anchor at NBC Chicago, Kate Chappell.
The night will conclude with a dinner and dance, with live entertainment provided by the Mylos Band of New York.
PanHellenic’s $5.2 million endowment is augmented through its Scholarship Society, which helps provide the additional amount for students with financial needs.
The added funding is accomplished through the generous support of many repeat donors, who provide a named $10,000 scholarship. The grants program is comprised of Scholarship 50, Scholarship 100 and Scholarship 200, with commitments for five, 10 or 20 years, respectively.
The scholarships provide a life-changing award for the students, as well as a meaningful personal connection for the donors.
The Foundation’s Paradigm Award
At the Gala, the Foundation also honors the lifelong achievements of a distinguished Greek American whose career and accomplishments are a testimony to the Foundation’s mission, and who serves as an example for scholars to follow.
This individual receives the Foundation’s Paradigm Award (from the Greek word paradeigma) in honor of their distinguished career, exemplary service in his or her respective field, and for making the Hellenic community proud.
This year the Award will be given to Stellene Volandes, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, the oldest continuously published magazine in America.
In 2016 she became the second female editor-in-chief in its 177-year history. Under her leadership, the magazine has continued its tradition of excellence in print and online and has become a leader in coverage of lifestyle, craftsmanship, the arts, travel, and philanthropy.
Past recipients of the Award include George Damis Yancopoulos, co-Founder, President and Chief Scientist of Regeneron, George Pelecanos, novelist, screenwriter, film and television producer and John Pappajohn, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and business leader.
The founder of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation
With roots in Messenia, Greece, Chris P. Tomaras was born in Piraeus, Greece, where he was raised and received his formal schooling. In 1957, while attending the Athens Graduate School of Economics and Business Sciences, he immigrated to the United States.
Tomaras was involved in a number of entrepreneurial businesses that eventually led to the establishment of the largest Greek food product manufacturer in the United States, known as “Kronos Foods.”
He also founded Tomaras Investments, Ltd., a private investment firm with holdings in real estate, the money markets, and in several operating companies in the United States and abroad.
Tomaras made significant contributions to several institutions that support Hellenic studies and offer assistance and services to various Greek communities throughout the world. In 2008, he donated $1,000,000 to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago in order to assist in the establishment of the Saint Iakovos Camp and Retreat Center.
With the goal to promote education among young Hellenes in the United States, Tomaras founded what is today the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation. He also served as a member of the Anatolia College Board of Trustees located in Thessaloniki, Greece; he was a founding member of the American Foundation of Hellenic Studies at Georgia State University, and he was a member of Leadership 100.
He passed away on October 14, 2015. The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation says that while Tomaras may be gone, his legacy, through the Foundation, lives on.
PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Awards Ceremony & Gala will be held June 17 at the Hilton Chicago. For information about event sponsorships or tickets, visit https://www.panhellenicsf.org/.