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Dr. Constantine Papadakis, Drexel University President and Paradigm Award recipient of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation dies at 63

It is with deep sorrow that we face the death of our good friend and strong supporter of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, Dr. Constantine (Takis) Papadakis, president of Drexel University, who passed away on April 6, 2009.  Dr. Papadakis' lifework and achievements had become an example for the Greek youth to follow and that is why it was our honor to recognize him with our Foundation's Paradigm Award which he received at our annual event in November 2006.  Ever since that event, he followed our work and shared our goals with enthusiasm so much so that he decided to mach our scholarships funds to any students who decided to attend Drexel University.


Takis, as he liked to be called, was born in Athens on February 2, 1946.  His father Nicholas Papadakis was a physician from Crete and his mother Rita Masciotti Papadakis was a native from Italy.  Dr. Papadakis died from pulmonary complications after a battle with cancer which was managed to be in remission.


All his life and throughout his career, Dr. Papadakis was a great Hellene supporting all community efforts for the preservation of our Hellenic heritage.  He was most passionate about education which he demonstrated by promoting and assisting students of Greek descent as was confirmed by the large Greek student population at Drexel.  He was extremely proud for his Cretan roots and had been honored many times by various Cretan organizations.


Dr. Papadakis came to U.S. in 1969 with a degree in civil engineering from the National Technical University in Athens (Metsovion Polytechneion) and continued at the University of Cincinnati where he earned a masters degree in the same field and after that a doctorate from the University in Michigan.  He worked for several engineering firms and in 1984 he became professor and later a dean at Colorado State University.  But his greatest achievement was during his presidency at Drexel University in Philadelphia where since 1995 he managed to increase student enrollment from 4,500 to 21,000 and a budget today of $650 million.


"Takis will be deeply missed by thousands of colleagues, associates and friends among which I can humbly count myself, said Chris P. Tomaras," Chairman of the Foundation.


Dr. Papadakis is survived by his wife of 39 years Eliana, his daughter Maria who delivered an earth moving emotional eulogy at the funeral on Tuesday, April 14, and other relatives in U.S. and Greece.