The Order is proud to share this article that appeared on Friday, August 5 in the prestigious Greek newspaper Kathimerini, profiling Archon Michael Psaros, the 2022 recipient of this year’s Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship. The Order congratulates Archon Michael on his truly selfless and exemplary stewardship of time, talent and treasure. This profile is richly deserved and reveals the breadth and depth of Archon Michael's commitment to our Holy Mother Church of Constantinople and to Hellenism throughout the Oikoumene.
In the Service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
Who is that Hellene?
By Archons Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos
The day before Kyriakos Mitsotakis made history as the first Greek prime minister to make a presentation before a joint session of the US Congress, with the elaborate ceremony afforded US presidents, he was introduced at Georgetown University by Michael Psaros. Some in Greece and some in America who are not involved in our national Church may have asked, “Who was that fellow given the honor of introducing the prime minister?”
The answer: He is a unique Hellene who has raised the bar for us in America. Last October, at his alma mater Georgetown University, he created the $3 million Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Endowed Orthodox Chaplaincy and, more recently, the $11 million Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy. And while these achievements are truly extraordinary, they are not the primary reason Psaros stands out.
When Psaros entered the picture, our best and brightest had accomplished phenomenal things for the Archdiocese of America. Unfortunately, the Archdiocese had become functionally insolvent. Its expenses exceeded its revenues until it ran out of funds. In addition, the construction of our St Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero had failed; there was a crisis at our seminary in Brookline regarding financial and accreditation problems; there was a shortfall in our priests’ retirement fund; and the issue of lifting the operation of our Archdiocese out of the red needed addressing. Although our Archdiocesan Council was made up of eminently successful people deeply committed to the Church, its years of efforts to reverse these problems showed little results.
Among those who have made our Church great, a small number of non-clerics and many clerics contribute enormous amounts of their valuable personal time and talent to the effort. Psaros did exactly this and brought with him powerful capabilities. First is his ability to manage a group of giant global manufacturing and industrial companies (today with $20 billion in combined revenue and $13.5 billion in assets under management, operating 233 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries). Second, a commitment to the Church and community that moved him to roll up his sleeves and dive for days, weeks and months into the nitty-gritty of our problems and personally pay for whatever outside expertise was needed to move forward. And, third, as should probably be expected from a man who rose from a small town in West Virginia to the top on Wall Street, when he encountered “insurmountable” roadblocks that would stop almost all the rest of us, he surmounted them. As an Orthodox Christian Psaros did this while adhering to the qualities enumerated by the ancient Greek historian Polybius, who said, “They have customs and institutions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, and a fear of the gods.”