By Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Co-Publisher
Hellenic News of America sat down with Mr. George Pappas, president of the Hellenic University Club for a brief interview regarding the club. Mr. Pappas became a member of HUC in 2003, and has been involved full force since then. Here is what he had to say:
Hellenic News of America (HNA): You are the president of HUC, tell me a little about the club’s goals, mission, and what you would like to see as president be done during your term?
George Pappas (GP): The club has missions on three fronts. We have the Paideia, which is for the scholarship that is for students of Greek descent, we have the cultural events which we do year around and a series of lectures. What I would like to see is the membership grow and more importantly see the scholarship fund grow in order to increase the amount of scholarships that we award to the students.
(HNA): How do you plan on growing the membership as well as the scholarship fund?
(GP): We plan to kick-off capital campaign in the fall to increase the funds. We are going to engage our members to get involved in different committees. Our scholarships start out at around $1,000 a year and we would like to increase to at least $5,000 a year and maybe cut down on the amount of students and give a larger lump sum instead.
(HNA): How else does HUC give back to the community? Is it primarily through the scholarship fund?
(GP): Scholarship fund is one, and also through our different cultural events that we have. Our events have done well. We have our opening social event in the fall, about 3-4 weeks ago we hosted a lecture at Drexel University on cyber security. The reason we selected this topic is because Cyber security is currently a very hot issue for people. So many people do not even know where to begin to protect their computer and or identity. We thought it was a relevant issue to educate the community on.
(HNA): Regarding your membership, is it open to everyone?
(GP): College graduates.
(HNA): As president, what message would you like to send out to the community and to your members?
(GP): If you read the stats in the U.S. and maybe throughout the world, Greek Americans have always been number one in the number of graduates that graduate with a degree and they have always been number one or two at the income level. So, in order for all that to continue our children have to get educated and in order to get educated they need support. Not only from their families, but also monetary support. The club needs the monetary contributions in order to continue this tremendous effort of giving out scholarships. The other thing also, which is important, Hellenism is under attack day in and day out, so by getting involved in clubs such as HUC or any organization really, you make sure that Hellenism will continue to thrive and not get lost.
(HNA): For your applicants, how do you base the awards? What are the criteria?
(GP): Of course their performance in school, the interview process, it’s more merit based than anything. Our scholarship fund is getting more and more popular now and that’s why we are seeking ways to increase the funds. We have given out over $600,000 in scholarships since 1971.
Hellenic University Club Scholarship Awards Dinner 2015