By Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Co- Publisher
Special to the Hellenic News of America
Radnor, PA- On Friday, May 29, 2015, the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia (HUC) hosted its annual scholarship dinner at the Radnor Hotel in Radnor, PA. One of the largest scholarship providers in the Greater Philadelphia region, HUC awards over 14 scholarships a year totaling $40,000 to worthy Greek-American students based on merit. HUC was established in 1936 and has over 300 members from various professional backgrounds. The Scholarship dinner started in 1939 and its first scholarship of $200 was awarded to the Theology School of Education. In 1971, the scholarship program was revamped and larger amounts were awarded to students.Doulis and Tsinontidis Families
Many individuals are involved in this wonderful organization in order to help push it forward and to continue its mission of providing scholarships. As ever before, this organization is helping to alleviate the burden of high tuition; however, more help is needed, as the organization is seeking to grow its scholarship fund in order to award greater amounts to students. HUC consists of a board of directors as well as a scholarship committee, which is all volunteer based. Mr. George Pappas is the president of HUC and Anna Hadgis is chair of the scholarship committee.
Founded on the Hellenistic principles that we all believe in, HUC has done tremendous work in offering continuous assistance for Paideia. HUC is more than just a social gathering as it is constantly striving to promote education and grant more and more scholarships. Its mission is not only to educate its members but the community as well.
Mr. George Pappas, president of HUC, welcomed the guests and scholarship recipients of the evening. “Congratulations to our exceptional recipients. We are all so proud of your accomplishments and we wish you continued success,” said Mr. Pappas. Mr. Pappas also touched briefly on HUC’s presence in the Philadelphia area. He shared with the guests about HUC’s exceptional social and educational events that are held throughout the year and welcomed everyone to attend.
Anna Hadgis, chair of the Scholarship Awards Committee, gave a warm welcoming to all guests and scholarship recipients. Anna informed the guests that the scholarship process takes months in advance to plan and expressed her gratitude towards all the recipients. “Each of you have contributed in a unique way not only to your churches but in your communities as well. You are the future of this club and we are in awe of what you have already accomplished,” said Anna.Anna Hadgis pictured with Dr. Anthony Skiadas, D.M.D.
Keynote speaker of the evening was Dr. Anthony Skiadas, D.M.D., a former HUC scholarship recipient. “Dr. Anthony Skiadas received one of HUC’s graduate scholarships in 2002 to pursue his studies in the field of dentistry. Dr. Anthony has since created and built SMILEBUILDERZ, one of the largest most comprehensive and technologically advanced dental practices in PA,” said Anna. Dr. Skiadas started one of the first integrated dental models to ever exist. SMILEBUILDERZ operates like a hospital for dental care, integrating dental specialists and services. He enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University and graduated in 2005.
Dr. Anthony Skiadas gave a heartwarming presentation as he highlighted on the significance of our Hellenistic values that have been instilled in us by our families. He recognized the importance that his family has played in his success, as well as his Greek heritage. He praised all the scholarship recipients as he noticed they all have commonalities. The will and pursuit of higher education in order to contribute to their communities that intertwined the hearts and minds of all of the night’s recipients. All recipients in one way or another have contributed to their communities and will continue to do so through their field of study. Dr. Anthony expressed the importance that the Greek Orthodox Faith, Education, Hellenistic Values and the principal of Philotimo has played in his life. Without all these, he would not be who he is today. “There is no English translation for the word Philotimo. It encompasses one’s honor, dignity, and self-esteem in fulfilling one’s obligations. Best expressed as acts of generosity and sacrifice without anything in return. Philotimo is the foundation of a healthy society, selflessness and dedication to others that caused the ancient Greeks to rise to unprecedented heights to lay the foundation for western civilization. I would like to congratulate Anna and the board of HUC, you continue to do an outstanding job of preserving our values in the Philadelphia region and helping excellent students to pursue their goal of higher education.”
After Dr. Anthony’s sincere presentation, one by one each scholarship recipient was announced to the podium for his or her moment of glory. Nine undergraduate scholarships and five graduate scholarships were presented that evening. The following recipients received the undergraduate scholarships; Olga Yiantsos (Rutgers University), Evanna Mortezavi (Villanova University), Caliope Yiannos (Towson University), Nicholas Chingas (Saint Joseph’s University) , Nicholas Greco (Colgate University), Nicholas Lamprinakos (Carnegie Mellon University), Angela Doulis (Rowan University), Eva McGrath (Drexel University) and Christopher Tsinontides (Lehigh University). Graduate recipients included John Proios (University of Arizona), Stephanie Tzarnas (Drexel University College of Medicine), Michael Kokozos (University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education), Angeliki Yannaris (Drexel University Kline School of Law) and John Pappas (The Commonwealth Medical College). As an additional token of good-luck, HUC presented each recipient as well as Dr. Skiadas with a tetradrachm, a Greek coin that symbolizes the club.
Drs. Chris and Ellie Tzarnas and Family
The Hellenic University Club’s Scholarship Awards Dinner truly epitomizes the entire mission and vision of the club. It really honors the founders and volunteers of the club whose vision is now coming to fruition. HUC is more than just a social avenue; it also embodies the principal of Paideia. HUC organizes various events throughout the year in order to create awareness of the club’s main mission, which is the scholarship fund. Next year, it will celebrate its 80th anniversary and it will be the club’s best year yet. The scholarship committee will be launching a capital campaign soon in order to raise more resources for the scholarship fund to help alleviate the skyrocketing costs of education. It is important that we as Greek-Americans embody our rich Greek heritage and continue to strive for excellence. It is up to us to keep the Hellenic flame alive here in America. A big thank you to all the benefactors of the scholarship fund, without your donations, these scholarships would not be economically feasible for our young Greek-Americans.