New Members of HCHC’s Founders Legacy Society Honored at Weekend Celebration
New Legacy Society Members: Ted Geoca, Dr. and Mrs. Olympia Hadjimichael, Dr. Matthew Panagiotu, Mr. & Mrs. Harris Vicky Pappas, George Safiol, Very Rev. Archimandrite Anton Vrame (not pictured).
Following the celebration of Divine Liturgy at Holy Cross Chapel on March 19, the Sunday of the Holy Cross, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America inaugurated eight new members into the newly established Hellenic College Holy Cross (HCHC) Founders Legacy Society. The Legacy Society was launched in 2022 to recognize the school’s benefactors who have made or are in the process of making various forms of planned gifts. Its purpose is to cultivate fellowship and relationships with and among the school’s planned giving benefactors, give them the opportunity to experience the beautiful HCHC community firsthand, and thank them both personally and publicly for their tremendous support.
In his remarks after the Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros stated: “In inaugurating the Founders Legacy Society, we honor a remarkable group of women and men who have learned the truth of the proverb: ‘Blessed are they who plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.’ These stewards of God’s bounty and blessing are laying up their treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
HCHC President George M. Cantonis added: “These stewards and others to follow in their footsteps will help us to develop the financial sustainability that will secure the future of Hellenic College Holy Cross, assuring our Faith of a continuous and growing number of well-trained clergy and laypeople. That is what our faithful in growing numbers will require as Greek Orthodoxy grows in the US.”
The Founders Legacy Society weekend began March 18 with a personalized tour of the Art of Ancient Greece, Rome and the Byzantine Empire George D. and Margo Behrakis Wing of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and was followed by an enjoyable fellowship dinner later that evening. The new Legacy members traveled from as far away as Houston TX. In addition to the Recognition Ceremony, His Eminence also offered a memorial service for all the founders of Hellenic College Holy Cross, after whom the Legacy Society was named. Said the Archbishop “… let us hold precious the memories of all who have come before us and whose sacrifices have paved the way for the present.” Following the service, the Maliotis Cultural Center hosted a festive luncheon for the new members.
Dr. Evangelos Hadjimichael, newly inducted Legacy Society member from New Haven, CT, said, “Our visit to HCHC over the past weekend was both informative and fully enjoyable. Having interacted at some length with the administrative and academic leadership of the two schools, our faith regarding the fundamental role of HCHC in sustaining Orthodoxy in America has been further crystallized. We feel compelled to spread the Faith.”
Legacy members Harris and Vicky Pappas from Houston also had high praise for the weekend’s events. “We were especially moved by the liturgical services in Holy Cross Chapel and the beautiful chanting of the seminarians,” said Vicky. “I’ve been very involved with my alma mater, Texas A&M, for many years,” said Harris, “and it’s remarkable what HCHC’s leadership has done recently. On top of its successes in accreditation, fundraising, and enrollment, they managed to implement an entire planned giving component – complete with a recognition society – with a skeleton staff and one very dedicated volunteer. Kudos to Helen Carlos and Fr. Jim [Katinas] and his team.”
Eight of the forty-six new members of the Founders Legacy Society were inaugurated. Ted Geoca (Houston), Dr. Evangelos and Olympia Hadjimichael (New Haven, CT), Dr. Matthew Panagiotu (Worcester MA), Harris and Vicky Pappas (Houston), George Safiol (Weston, MA), and Very Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Anton Vrame.
Fr. James Katinas, Vice President for institutional Advancement, expressed his deep appreciation to all the school’s benefactors “past and present” and for the new members of the Legacy Society “at every level.” “Websters defines ‘legacy’ not only as a financial gift, but as ‘something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor.’ HCHC is here today because we stand on the shoulders of giants: our ancestors and predecessors who left us with legacies of deep faith, Christian love, and great generosity.”
He went on to thank some of the present-day grand benefactors for “going above and beyond the call of duty.” Helen Carlos, for her “second-to-none faithfulness and generosity of time, talent, and treasure,” Harris and Vicky Pappas for “recently establishing the Mary Harris Pappas Endowed Scholarship for female students in memory of their beloved daughter Mary, and for their ongoing seven-figure giving,” and George Safiol “who together with our beloved Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in seminarian scholarships from the amazing group of treasured benefactors known as Leadership 100.”
Photo: GOARCH/Dimitrios Panagos