Stockton Receives $100,000 Gift to Establish Endowed Professorship of Greek Art, Architecture

Stockton Receives $100,000 Gift to Establish Endowed Professorship of Greek Art, Architecture

For Immediate Release; with photo on flickr

 Contact:         Maryjane Briant 
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 Galloway, N.J. - Businessman George C. Georges today signed an agreement pledging $100,000 to the Stockton University Foundation to establish the Constantine George Georges and Sophia C. Georges Endowed Professorship of Greek Art and Architecture, in honor of his late parents.

“I wanted to support the teaching and learning of Greek art, architecture and archaeology at Stockton and to memorialize my parents for their lives of industry and charity toward others,” said Georges, an Atlantic City businessman. “The Hellenic Studies program presents a unique educational choice of courses and research for Stockton students, which is usually only available at larger universities,” he said.

His gift also acknowledged the inspiration of two individuals, the Rev. Demetrios J. Constantelos, retired as a priest and professor, for his pioneering work in Hellenic Studies at Stockton, and Dean C. Pappas, the late university trustee, for his generous nature and honorable life.

“Mr. Georges’ generosity and vision ensure that more students will have the opportunity to be immersed in Greek art and architecture, which are keystones of Western civilization,” said Stockton President Harvey Kesselman. “This gift supports Stockton’s educational values, focusing on the importance of global perspectives and cultural traditions in preparing students to collaborate across a diverse world.”

The Georges’ gift builds on the university’s extraordinary resources, which include the Dean C. and Zoe S. Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies and the Constantelos Hellenic Collection and Reading Room here, a statewide repository for the New Jersey Greek-American Oral History Project.

Constantelos, an expert in the field of Byzantine (medieval Greek) history, donated his collection of 3,000 rare and important works to Stockton. His visionary initiatives proved instrumental in creating an academic center for Hellenic Studies at Stockton, Georges said.                  

Pappas and his wife, Zoe, committed $250,000 in 2015 to establish a Greek Art and Architecture Fund to provide students with new learning experiences and donated $150,000 in 2012 to endow the work of what was then called the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies. It was renamed for them in 2015 to honor their generosity and commitment to scholarship. The Pappases also donated $1 million to establish a Visiting Scholar Endowment Fund.

The Constantine George Georges and Sophia C. Georges Endowed Professorship will be maintained as a permanent part of the Pappas Center within the School of Arts and Humanities. The agreement specifies that the holder of the professorship must have a demonstrated expertise in Greek art, architecture and archaeology, and be actively associated with an active archaeological project in Greece or Cyprus. 

The agreement states that additional contributions may be made at any time by the donor and others, and will be accepted by the foundation. It was signed at a Board of Trustees meeting at the university by Foundation Chair Richard Dovey, President Kesselman and George Georges.

Tom Papademetriou, associate professor of History and director of the Pappas Center for Hellenic Studies, said: “I am so pleased that George Georges has decided to honor his parents with this gift. His parents and family have been such an important part of the Atlantic City Greek community, with his father sponsoring dozens of other families from Greece to a better life in America. It is fitting that George is honoring them in this way.  

“Greek art and architecture plays such a major role in understanding not only the Hellenic past but the human past,” Papademetriou continued.  

“With the help of this endowment, our professor of Greek Art and Archaeology, Dr. Amy Papalexandrou, a graduate of Princeton University, will be able to conduct her scholarly research as well as expose Stockton students to important archaeological sites, and great monuments,” he said.

“We are lucky because Dr. Papalexandrou is one of the leaders of the Polis excavation in Cyprus, Papademetriou added. “She just concluded research there with three Stockton students whose lives have been transformed by the experience.  This fund will enhance these types of research opportunities.”