The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation held their 2017 Awards Ceremony and Gala on Saturday, June 17, at the Hilton Chicago for an attendance of 560 contributors, guest and scholarship recipients. This annual event serves as both an opportunity to recognize the outstanding Greek American students benefited by the monetary assistance of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation and as a fundraiser for this non-profit organization established by the late Chicago businessman and philanthropists Chris Tomaras.
The foundation awarded its 2017 Paradigm Award to Archon John Pappajohn of Des Moines, Iowa, one of today's leaders in investing, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. As one of the early venture capitalists and one of the most charitable Greek Americans in the nation, Mr. Pappajohn's life and achievements represent the importance of education in reaching one's dreams. Immigrating with his family from Greece to Mason City, Iowa, when he was nine months old, Mr. Pappajohn strived through the challenges of the passing of his father at 16 years old and of then helping support his mother and siblings financially to finish high school and graduate from the University of Iowa in 1952. After starting in the Insurance industry, he founded Equity Dynamics and Pappajohn Capital Resources. He has since been involved in over one hundred start-ups and over fifty IPO's, and has served as a Director in over forty public companies. As passionate philanthropists, John Pappajohn and his wife Mary have gifted more than $100 million to various causes. John Pappajohn is a member of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle (Archon), the highest honor bestowed on a Greek Orthodox parishioner by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is a national non-profit organization that honors and supports exceptional undergraduate students of Hellenic descent. The late Chicago businessman and philanthropists Chris Tomaras established the Foundation in 1998. Through the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, Mr. Tomaras ensured that no deserving Greek American student would have to give up earning their college education due to lack of financial support. Chris Tomaras believed Hellenism and education would build a better America and hoped that the Foundation's scholarship recipients would become meaningful contributors to society. Including the 2017 recipients, the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation has honored 408 Greek American college students with scholarships totaling $2.75 million. An independent Academic Committee rigorously reviews hundreds of applications and makes the final selection of Award Recipients. More on this outstanding organization can be found on their website at: www.PanHellenicSF.org