University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

February 23, 2007
Contact: Jennifer Ekman, (251) 460-6360

AHEPA Gives $100,000 to USA's Endowment in Hellenic Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences

AHEPA officers presenting the gift to USA
American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association officers presenting the gift to USA. From left to right: Ulises Chavez, chapter secretary; Louis Ladas, treasurer; Dr. G. David Johnson, Dean of the USA College of Arts and Sciences; Bernard Quinn, president; and John Sheffield, vice president.

The Mobile Chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, the Greek-American fraternal organization, recently donated $100,000 to the University of South Alabama’s Endowment in Hellenic Studies.

The gift created a $200,000 boost for the Hellenic Studies Endowment because the University matched the recent gift dollar-for-dollar.

When fully funded, the Hellenic Studies Endowment will provide partial support for a full-time faculty position in philosophy and classical Greek, as well as fund undergraduate study in Greece. The group’s goal is to grow the endowment to $1 million by spring 2008. The University has agreed to match all gifts up to $450,000 until the goal is reached. To date, the endowment has raised $550,000 through gifts and the University match.

The gifts raised also will be used to enhance the academic resources required for the study of philosophy and classical Greek, including guest lectureships and the purchase of library materials.

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, known as AHEPA, promotes Greek-Americans, Greek culture, U.S. and Canadian relations with Greece, and the rights of minority Americans. It is the largest association of U.S. and Canadian citizens of Greek heritage. The goals of AHEPA, which was founded in 1922, are to promote Hellenism, education, philanthropy and civic responsibility. Some of the group’s philanthropic efforts include $600 million in senior housing projects and extensive local and national scholarship programs. 

Nick Stratas, a prominent member of Mobile’s Greek-American community, president of the AHEPA National Housing Corporation and a member of the USA Arts and Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, said the gift and endowment would make a difference to USA students.

“We need to ensure that future generations of students, Greek-Americans among them, come away from their undergraduate experience fully aware of the crucial role Greece played in the development of western civilization,” he said. “A successful endowment drive will mean that the voices of classical Greece will be heard in perpetuity at the University of South Alabama.”

USA College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. G. David Johnson said the gift would highlight an important aspect of a liberal arts education for USA students.

“We recognize the achievements of the classical world and its influence on the thought, academic disciplines, and institutions of the world today,” Johnson said. “The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to strengthening its offerings in this important area of study.”

AHEPA’s recent gift is part of Campaign USA, the University’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign that seeks to raise $75 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction over the next three years. Campaign USA was launched in March, and, to date, has raised $46 million.

“AHEPA and the Mobile Bay area Greek community are great University partners and important resources to successfully complete the Hellenic Studies Endowment effort,” said Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president of development and alumni relations. “This effort demonstrates community groups and the University can create programs of excellence for the benefit of all citizens.”

Campaign USA will enrich all aspects of USA, from its academic colleges and schools to its hospitals, athletic programs, libraries and campuses. The money raised will be used to fund such items as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, professorships, classroom and laboratory equipment, and health care innovations. Funds will also be used for capital enhancements to USA’s track and soccer programs, a University archives building and campus bell tower.

The campaign is led by some 50 outstanding local and national business leaders.

For information on Campaign USA, go to or call (251) 460-7032.

The University of South Alabama

Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 13,300 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing. The University has awarded more than 59,000 degrees.

In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center ­­– involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually. 


Back     Print

USA Logo