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The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Celebrates its 2009 Annual Awards Ceremony
51Students are Given Merit Awards 25 Receive $250,000 in Cash Grants



The Awards Gala took place at the prestigious Union League Club of Chicago and was filled to capacity by family, friends and philhellenes wanting to share in the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation's celebration of fifty one of the "best and brightest" Greek American students.   All of the students were inducted into the PanHellenic Honors Society and as members will have the opportunity to communicate, network, promote education, stay connected and preserve their Hellenic Heritage. 


Foundation Founder and Chairman Chris P. Tomaras in his address to the audience emphasized "continue to support the award recipients and be passionate about their future because they have the potential to be the leaders of tomorrow and the innovators that will change the way we live," and continued "the eternal values that these distinguished academic achievers received from their Hellenic upbringing will forever guide them to benefit themselves, their families and this great nation." 



                                                  2009 PanHellenic Award Recipinets


During his address, Mr. Tomaras revealed his future plans for the Foundation that include an endowment fund that will provide benefits to students in perpetuity, and a program titled 'Birthright Greece" by which qualified American born students of Greek descent who have never visited Greece will do so on trips organized and paid for by the Foundation, so they can see for themselves and appreciate their heritage as such knowledge is their birth-given right.



                                   Dr. Thanasis Economou accepts the                                     Patricia Kara

                                          Paradigm Award from Chris Tomaras                            Mistress of Ceremonies


This year, the Foundation received a record number of applications from all over the U.S with the largest number showing GPAs of 4.0 and higher.  Of the fifty one award recipients, twenty five with documented financial need received a $10,000 scholarship grant each. The Awards Gala tickets were sold out weeks before the event.  The Foundation met the demand for attendance by holding the gala at a larger venue, and again successfully welcomed a full ballroom with supporters of education from across the country.  The Invocation and a special prayer were offered by His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, while well known Greek-American actress and spokes model Patricia Kara served as the evening's emcee. 


Amb. Anastassios Petrovas, Consul General of Greece in Chicago, and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas also conveyed their congratulations to the students for their accomplishments, and emphasized the need to continue to encourage and promote education, while several full scholarship grant donors congratulated the winners on stage and personally handed to them the awards.  Included in these donors were Mrs. Evanthia Apostolou, Mrs. Eleni Bousis, Ms. Katerina Pappas, Dr. Tom Petropulos and Dr. George Skarpathiotis.  Student Stamatia Ress, who was selected to represent the 2009 Award Recipients, expressed both thanks and gratitude to the Foundation and the Donors. 



                             Chris Tomaras                               John Apostolou                        George Alexopoulos

                        Founder and Chairman                 Chairman, Advisory Board       Chairman, Academic Commitee


A second highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Foundation's annual Paradigm Award to world-renowned NASA Senior Planetary Scientist, Dr. Thanasis Economou, whose name is linked with most of NASA's 50 year history. After accepting the award, Dr. Economou offered a fascinating presentation with images from space, including current NASA missions he is involved with.


Noted as Chicago Greek-American Community's most illustrious social event, a number of clergy, political and civic leaders attended, including: His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Amb. Anastasios Petrovas, Consul General of Greece in Chicago, and Alderman Richard Mell.  Also in attendance were the Honorable Maria Pappas, Cook  County Treasurer, the Honorable Judge James Booras, the Honorable Judge Peggy Chiampas, the Honorable Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos-Kosmas, Mrs. Maryanna Spyropoulos, Commissioner of the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Mr. Michael Halikias, Mr. John P. Calamos Sr., 2007 Paradigm Award Recipient and Chairman and CEO of Calamos Investments, Mrs. Eleni Bousis, President of the Greek American Rehabilitation & Nursing Centre, Mr. Demetrios Kozonis, Chairman of the Chicago Sister City - Athens Committee, Mr. Endy Zemenides, Senior Advisor to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Vice President of The International Coordinating Committee "Justice for Cyprus" and Mr. Gregory Pappas, President of the Greek America Foundation, as well as members of the clergy, officers of universities and educational institutions, representatives of Greek American Organizations and members of the Greek American media.


The 51 Award Winners for 2009, all inducted in the PanHellenic Honors Society, are as follows:


1.           Kyriaki Ades - Lake Forest College

2.           Denise Alexopoulos - Loyola University

3.           Ashley Alman - Duke University

4.           Katherine Anoyiannakis - Grand Valley State University

5.           Alexa Arvanitis - University of Florida

6.           Alexandros Athanasakopoulos - Iowa State University

7.           Sophia Bairaktaris - Loyola University

8.           Julia Black - Berkeley University

9.           Charles Blougouras - Bentley University 

10.        Sam Caldis - University of Minnesota

11.        Athena Carapanos - John F. Kennedy University

12.        James Comninellis - University of Missouri   

13.        Maria Constantinides - Southern Illinois University 

14.        Sable Diakos - St. John's University

15.        Amanda Efthimiou - George Washington University

16.        Marisa Falakos - Saint Xavier University

17.        Kyle Feagin - University of Alabama 

18.        Katherine Georginis - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

19.        Constantine Giannaras - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

20.        Ellen Goleas - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

21.        Michael Graham - Youngstown State University  

22.        Thomas Hatzilabrou - University of Illinois at Chicago

23.        Kristina Hauptmann - Ohio University

24.        Cynthia Housianitis - Old Dominion University

25.        Christopher Howell - University of California at Riverside

26.        Kalissa Kakouros - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

27.        Panagiotis Karahalios - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

28.        Panagiota Karas - Northwestern University

29.        William Kavadas - California State Polytechnic

30.        Lauren Kottis - Duke University

31.        Pia Kurkuvelos - Harvard College

32.        Natalie Lalagos - Illinois Wesleyan University

33.        Daphne Lambropoulos - University of Michigan

34.        Alexander Mangos - Tufts University

35.        Alexander Morelli - Harvard University

36.        Stelios Papadopoulos - University of California 

37.        Theodora Papastratakos - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

38.        Georgios Parapouras - California State University in Long Beach

39.        Matthew Polites - Washington University

40.        Stamatia Ress - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

41.        Samantha Rose - Oral Roberts University

42.        Anna Salapatas - Loyola University

43.        James Schooley - Ohio State University    

44.        Leo Skiadopoulos - Loyola University

45.        Shelby Stavretis - Butler University

46.        Sydney Thayer - University of Southern California

47.        Nicolette Theotikos - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

48.        Peter Tzioumis - Tulane University

49.        Samantha Valsamis - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

50.        Maryann Vlahos - Columbia College

51.        Athena Xides - University of the Pacific