American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

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AHEPA headquarters located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a fraternal organization founded on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia. AHEPA was founded in response to the evils of bigotry spearheaded by the Ku Klux Klan and to assist Greek immigrants assimilate into American society. AHEPA joined with B'nai B'rith and the NAACP to combat discrimination.

The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence.

Hellenism[edit]

An important component of AHEPA's mission is to create an awareness of the principles of Hellenism to society. These principles include a commitment to humanity, freedom, and democracy. The preservation and promotion of these ideals is where AHEPA has, and always will be, deeply committed.

AHEPA educates the community on these matters through symposia, forums, and conferences.

Education[edit]

AHEPA's commitment to education has been well documented throughout its history. Over $4 million is endowed at the local, district and national levels toward the use of scholarships and a half-million dollars is awarded annually. Thousands of young men and women have benefited as recipients of AHEPA scholarships at these various levels. The most famous recipient, perhaps, is ABC News' host of This Week, George Stephanopoulos.

The scholarship program at the national level is administered by the AHEPA National Educational Foundation. It offers scholarships to a wide variety of students. Recipients are: traditional and non-traditional students; seminarians, including those entering Holy Cross Greek School of Theology; and high school seniors, college and post-graduate students who are looking to become tomorrow's leaders.

The preservation of Hellenic or Classical Studies programs on college campuses is an important issue for the AHEPA Educational Foundation. A subcommittee of the Foundation, the Hellenic Cultural Commission, actively works to support the study of the Classics at universities.

In addition, educational programs such as "Journey to Greece" and Washington internships are sponsored by the Foundation.

Philanthropy[edit]

Philanthropy and volunteerism have been pillars of strength for AHEPA. From natural disaster relief to raising funds for the elimination of life-threatening diseases to making significant contributions to their local neighborhoods, AHEPA is at the forefront of charitable giving.

AHEPA's philanthropic deeds are evident in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; in the Halls of St. Basil Academy, a childcare facility in Garrison, N.Y.; in the care packages sent to the troops in cooperation with the USO; and in the building of healthcare facilities in Greece. Yet this only scratches the surface of the numerous philanthropic works of the association. In addition, countless charitable projects are undertaken every year by AHEPA's chapters and districts.

Civic responsibility[edit]

AHEPA grassroots has a strong voice. With chapters in every major metropolitan city and in rural areas of North America, AHEPA communicates the positions of the Greek-American community to elected representatives at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as to diplomatic leaders. These issues pertain to Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey; however, AHEPA constituents are also interested in domestic policy areas affecting the philanthropic, civic, and community service-based programs in which they are involved. These positions are based upon the American heritage and ideals with the best interest of the United States in mind.

AHEPA educates its constituents about these issues through seminars and conferences, providing expert panelists from the U.S. government, Washington, DC think-tank organizations, and the business world.

Furthermore, AHEPA keeps a watchful eye on Congress with its Congressional Scorecard, a tool that evaluates each member of Congress on Greek-American issues.

Family and individual excellence[edit]

What makes AHEPA unique from other organizations is the creation of the AHEPA Family. Together with three affiliated organizations, the AHEPA Family works as a unit toward the fulfillment of a common mission. Combined, the four organizations have contributed well over a billion dollars to national projects throughout their history.

Its affiliate women's organization, the Daughters of Penelope, was founded in 1929. It supports two youth groups, the Sons of Pericles (established in 1926) and the Maids of Athena (1930).

The Daughters of Penelope was established November 16, 1929 as the Women's Affiliate of AHEPA. It is the first Greek-American women's organization in the United States. One of its crowning achievements is Penelope House, a shelter for battered women in Mobile, Alabama. It is the first shelter for battered women and their children in that state.

The Sons of Pericles was established February 3, 1926, and was officially recognized as the Junior Order of AHEPA in 1928. Finally, the Maids of Athena was founded July 5, 1930 as the Junior Women's Auxiliary of AHEPA. The two youth groups have combined to contribute to such worthy causes as: Muscular dystrophy, Deborah Heart and Lung Foundation, the Special Olympics, St. Basil Academy and Cooley's anemia research.

Ideals of Ancient Greece[edit]

AHEPA members are proud of the contributions the ancient Greeks gifted to Western Civilization. As Americans, they share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy. This is the essence of their heritage. This is the core of the AHEPA mission.[1]

Moreover, throughout the span of its history, AHEPA has served as a vital vehicle for the progressive development and emergence of American citizens of Greek heritage into every facet of society: government, business, education, and the arts. This fulfillment illustrates the promise of the American Dream and symbolizes the hard work ethic of immigrant forebears who labored to achieve that dream with the principles of Hellenism rooted deep in their hearts.[1]

History[edit]

The AHEPA was founded as a fraternity in Atlanta, Georgia in July 1922. Its initial mission was to promote the image of Greeks in America, assist them with citizenship and assimilation into American culture, and combat prejudice. With the full assimilation of Greek Americans, its mission evolved toward philanthropy, education, and promoting and preserving the Hellenic identity of the Greek Americans and the ethnic Greeks of other countries where AHEPA is present, such as Australia, Canada, the Bahamas as well as Greece and Cyprus.[2][3]

The founders of the fraternity were eight men, all residents of Atlanta, who conceived the idea of the establishment of an association of mainly citizens of Greek descent, although not limited only to such members. The eight founders of the Order of AHEPA who were also the first Supreme lodge were the following:

  • Nicholas D. Chotas
  • James Campbell
  • Spiro J. Stamos
  • Harry Angelopoulos
  • George A. Polos
  • John Angelopoulos
  • George Campbell
  • James Vlass

The office of Supreme President is the highest office in the Order of AHEPA. There have been 61 Supreme Presidents since the founding of the organization on July 26, 1922.

Past Supreme Presidents

  • 1922 - 1923 Nicholas Chotas
  • 1923 - 1924 George Demeter
  • 1924 - 1927 V.I. Chebithes
  • 1927 - 1929 Dean Alfange
  • 1929 - 1931 George E. Philles
  • 1931 - 1934 Harris J. Booras
  • 1934 - 1935 Achilles Catsonis
  • 1935 - 1940 V.I. Chebithes
  • 1940 - 1942 Van A. Nomikos
  • 1942 - 1945 George C. Vournas
  • 1945 - 1947 Harris J. Booras
  • 1947 - 1949 William Helis
  • 1949 - 1951 John G. Thevos
  • 1951 - 1953 Peter L. Bell
  • 1953 - 1954 Leo J. Lamberson
  • 1954 - 1956 Stephen S. Scopas
  • 1956 - 1957 John L. Manta
  • 1957 - 1959 C.P. Vernis
  • 1959 - 1960 George E. Loucas
  • 1960 - 1962 Nicholas Coffinas
  • 1962 - 1963 George J. Margoles
  • 1963 - 1964 John G. Plumides
  • 1964 - 1965 Nicholas J. Chirekos
  • 1965 - 1967 Simon A. Doukas
  • 1967 - 1968 Andrew Fasseas
  • 1968 - 1969 Gus Cherevas
  • 1969 - 1971 Louis G. Manesiotis
  • 1971 - 1972 Sam Nakis
  • 1972 - 1973 Dr. Michael M. Spirtos
  • 1973 - 1974 William P. Tsaffaras
  • 1974 - 1976 William G. Chirgotis
  • 1976 - 1977 Xenophon K. Microutsicos
  • 1977 - 1978 Peter N. Dervis
  • 1978 - 1979 Dr. Peter V. Paulus
  • 1979 - 1981 Nick Smyrnis
  • 1981 - 1982 Gustav Coffinas
  • 1982 - 1983 Peter Kouchalakos
  • 1983 - 1984 Peter H. Cardiges
  • 1984 - 1985 Cleo N. Zambetis
  • 1985 - 1986 George P. Gabriel
  • 1986 - 1987 John G. Plumides
  • 1987 - 1988 Nicholas L. Strike
  • 1988 - 1989 A. Steve Betzelos
  • 1989 - 1990 Charles P. Tsaffaras
  • 1990 - 1991 James S. Scofield
  • 1991 - 1992 John T. Pappas
  • 1992 - 1993 Dr. Gus A. Constantine
  • 1993 - 1994 John N. Economou
  • 1994 - 1995 Charles M. Georgeson
  • 1995 - 1997 Dr. Spiro J. Macris
  • 1997 - 1998 Steve A. Manta
  • 1998 - 1999 Lee George Rallis
  • 1999 - 2000 George J. Dariotis
  • 2000 - 2001 Johnny N. Economy
  • 2001 - 2002 Andrew T. Banis
  • 2002 - 2003 Dr. James F. Dimitriou
  • 2003 - 2004 A. Jack Georgalas
  • 2004 - 2005 Franklin R. Manios
  • 2005 - 2007 Gus J. James II
  • 2007 - 2009 Ike Gulas
  • 2009 - 2011 Nicholas A. Karacostas
  • 2011 - 2013 Dr. John Grossomanides
  • 2013 - 2014 Anthony Kouzounis
  • 2014 - 2015 Phillip T. Frangos
  • 2015 - 2016 John W. Galanis
  • 2016 - Present Andrew C. Zachariades

[4] [5]

Organization[edit]

Originally AHEPA was organized on a lodge system like that of the Masons or Oddfellows. Local units were called "Subordinate Lodges" and state or territory structures were called "Superior Lodges". Now local groups are called "Chapters" and regional organizations are called "Districts". The national structure is still called the "Supreme Lodge", however, and all of its officers have "Supreme" in their title such as Supreme President, Supreme Treasurer etc.[6][7]

The Order of AHEPA has over 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe. In addition, the chapters report to 28 different districts. Those 28 districts report to the Supreme Lodge and Headquarters located in Washington, DC.

Membership[edit]

While membership was originally restricted to Greeks, it was decided to allow non-Greeks into the order at the orders third meeting. In 1979 AHEPA had over 25,000 members in 400 chapters.[8] By 1989, the number climbed to 60,000, despite an overall decline in memberships of fraternal groups during the same period.[9]

There have been 540 chapters chartered in the United States, 16 chartered in Canada, 30 chartered in Greece, 5 chartered in Cyprus, and 10 chartered in Europe, Central America, and Caribbean. There are “sister” chapters in AHEPA Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). An estimated 250,000 men have been inducted into the Order of AHEPA over its 90-year history.[10]

Supreme Convention[edit]

In accordance with the provisions of the AHEPA Constitution, the Supreme Convention of the Order of AHEPA shall be the highest constituted body of the entire AHEPA; it shall remain in session until it is adjourned by a majority of its members; its powers over the entire Order shall be limited only by the AHEPA Constitution and the AHEPA BYLAWS, over which it shall have the exclusive power to alter; and it shall consist, in its composite whole, of the "Voting Members of the Convention".

The Supreme Convention has the authority to overturn, overrule, reject or rescind decisions of the Supreme Counselor, Board of Trustees or Supreme Lodge, including the authority to reject, rescind or terminate contracts after the consequences of such action is explained to them. Any such decision of the Supreme Convention to overturn, overrule, reject or rescind any decision of Supreme Counselor, Board of Trustees or Supreme Lodge can be made by a majority vote of the registered Voting Members of the Convention then present and voting at the time as long as those voting in favor represent at least a majority of the Voting Members of the Convention duly registered at such Convention.[11]

Politics[edit]

AHEPA has taken a stand on the Cyprus issue since 1955 when it formed the "Justice for Cyprus" committee to support Cyprus' independence.[12] Through the decades, the organization has continued advocate on issues relating to Greece and Cyprus in Washington, while also educating the public about these topics.[9]

  • Congressional scorecard

For each Congress, AHEPA compiles a Congressional scorecard on issues of importance to the American Hellenic community and to the organization. The purpose of the scorecard is to educate AHEPA’s membership and the community on how engaged members of Congress are on these issues, or at the least, their level of awareness.

Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence[edit]

AHEPA is very active in fulfilling the mission of the organization. Here is a list of AHEPA projects over its 92-year history:[13]

  • U.S. War Bond Drive, World War II, AHEPA raised more than $253 million.
  • Late 1940s saw seven AHEPA Health Centers become operable, including the AHEPA Wing of the Evangelismos Hospital. In 1951, AHEPA Hospital at Thessaloniki dedicated.
  • Completed AHEPA Hall for Boys, St. Basil's Academy, with $92,000 raised in late 1950.
  • AHEPA School Building, St. Basil's Academy, completed in 1962, $245,000 donated.
  • In 1970, the AHEPA Athletic Program takes form. AHEPA Athletics include: softball, golf, bowling, basketball, with regional and national tournaments held annually. Each year, at the Supreme Convention, inductions are made into the AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame.
  • In the mid-1970s the AHEPA Educational Foundation is formed. Over $1.6 million contributed to scholarship awards and endowment funds in 1996 at the local, district and national levels.
  • AHEPA Cooley's Anemia Foundation established in the late 1970s to issue grants to medical researchers and doctors to discover a cure for this disease. The foundation issued grants in the amount of $90,000 in 1997.
  • Dedication of three more AHEPA Hall for Boys, St. Basil's Academy, 1981, $1.5 million donated.
  • AHEPA National Housing Corporation formed in 1983 to pursue housing projects from HUD. Today, HUD commitment to AHEPA National Housing Corporation has accumulated to more than $600 million. 92 AHEPA Section 202 HUD projects for low-income senior citizens are completed or are in development.
  • $612,000 was donated from 1986 to 1991 for Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Restoration, earning special recognition by the United States Department of the Interior.
  • $775,000 raised for Tribute, a sculpture dedicated June 1996 in Atlanta's Olympic Centennial Park as a gift from Greek-Americans on the occasion of the Centennial Anniversary of the Olympic Games.
  • AHEPA Hellenic Float was accepted into the 1999 Tournament of Roses® Parade and the message of Hellenism was conveyed to 325 million who viewed it in over 110 countries. The float won the coveted Queen’s Trophy for most effective use of roses. The float returned in 2000 to win the Queen’s Trophy again.
  • AHEPA Bone Marrow Registry established in the late 1980s to help find donors for the bone marrow transplants
  • The AHEPA family raised $229,000 for victims of the Athens earthquake, September 7, 1999. The funds went toward purchasing sonar detection equipment, an ambulance at Evangelismos Hospital, and toward restoration of a day care facility in Menidi.
  • The AHEPA family raised $110,000 for the Marshall Statue dedicated October 2000 on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Athens in memoriam to George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan.
  • Over $150,000 was raised for National Tragedy Relief following the terrorist attacks of September 11.
  • AHEPA partnered with the United Services Organization (USO) and raised $10,000 for “Operation-USO Care Package” program.
  • Annually since 1924, AHEPA has laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to honor America’s fallen heroes.
  • In 2007-08, AHEPA transported 270 Care packages totaling $250,000 worth of goods, and raised an additional $250,000 in financial assistance for Greece’s Wildfires Victims.
  • In 2010, AHEPA donates $10,000 to the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team – Virginia Task Force 1 – an international and domestic disaster response unit credited for saving 16 lives in Haiti’s earthquake.
  • In 2014, AHEPA raised over $7,500 in gift cards for tornado victims in Washington, Illinois. Gift cards were presented to the Mayor of Washington.
  • AHEPA’s Humanitarian Campaign to aid Greece during an unprecedented financial crisis has raised nearly $500,000 to feed the less fortunate, and working in cooperation with other organizations, secured shipments of medical supplies to Greece valued at nearly $4 million.
  • In 2015 and 2016, AHEPA has raised $440,000 dollars for rebuilding the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York City located at Ground Zero.
AHEPA Center, New York

Awards[edit]

AHEPA recognizes distinguished achievements in various categories such as Public Service, Government, Law, Business, Journalism, Science, the Arts, Military Service, Humanitarian. Below is a list of AHEPA awards and recipients over the years.

AHEPA Socrates Awards[edit]

The Socrates Award recognizes prominent men and women who have emulated ancient Hellenic ideals. This is the most prestigious award AHEPA awards.

AHEPA’s premier social event, the AHEPA National Banquet, was held for the first time on February 26, 1929, at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. In 1948, the name of the event was changed to the “AHEPA Congressional Banquet” and for the first time, a United States President, Harry Truman, attended. In 2000 AHEPA reverted to a more appropriate name of this event, The AHEPA Biennial Banquet.

Since 1964, the AHEPA National Banquet has also featured presentations of the organization’s most coveted honor, the Socrates Award.

A list of past recipients of the Socrates Award:

  • Henry R. Luce - 1964 - Publisher of Time and Life magazines
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - 1966 - President of the United States of America
  • Everett Dirksen - 1968 - Senator from Illinois
  • Spiro T. Agnew - 1970 - Vice-President of the United States of America
  • Richard M. Nixon - 1971 - President of the United States of America
  • Holiness Athenagoras I Ecumenical Patriarch - 1972
  • The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives - 1976
  • Hubert H. Humphrey - 1978 - Vice-President of the United States of America
  • Claiborne Pell - 1982 - Senator from Connecticut
  • Bob Hope - 1984 - Entertainer
  • Ronald Reagan - 1986 - President of the United States of America
  • Archbishop Iakovos - 1988 - Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America
  • George W. H. Bush - 1990 - President of the United States of America
  • William “Gus” Pagonis - 1992 - Lt. General
  • Mary Matthews - 1992 - Philanthropist
  • Paul Sarbanes - 1993 - Senator from Maryland
  • William Clinton - 1996 - President of the United States of America
  • Patriarch Bartholomew - 1997 - His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch
  • George W. Bush - 2002 - President of the United States of America
  • Tassos Papadopoulos - 2007 - President of Cyprus
  • Costas Karamanlis - 2007 - Prime Minister of Greece
  • George A. Kalogridis - 2014 - President Walt Disney World Resort
  • Joe Biden - 2015 - Vice-President of the United States of America
  • John Boehner - 2015 - Speaker of the House of Representatives

AHEPA Pericles Award[edit]

The Order of AHEPA developed the Pericles award on both the National and District level to honor those individuals in Government. Past national recipients include:

  • Senator Paul Tsongas
  • Senator Paul Sarbanes
  • Senator John Glen
  • Congressman Mike Bilirakis
  • Congressman Gus Bilirakis
  • Congressman Gus Yatron
  • Congressman George Gekas
  • Efthimios E. Mitropoulos
  • Congressman John Lewis - 2015
  • Congressman Peter J. Visclosky - 2016

Also several United States Governors have been honored with this award as have many local government officials.

AHEPA Solon Award[edit]

This national award is given to a member of the bar for excellence in the field of law.

  • Honorable Charles P. Kocoras - 2016

AHEPA Homer Award[edit]

This is a special award to be presented only by the Supreme Lodge at their discretion to any outstanding individual.

Past recipients:

  • Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities, Wellesley College
  • Nicholas Gage - Author
  • Thea Halo - Author

AHEPA Aristotle Award[edit]

This award is to be presented by the Supreme Lodge at the Grand Banquet of the Supreme Convention to an Outstanding Hellene who has distinguished himself in his respective profession or field of endeavor.

  • Robert W. Peck - 2015 - Canadian Ambassador to Greece
  • Theofanis Economidis - 2015
  • John P. Calamos - 2016

AHEPA Public Service Award[edit]

An award developed for recognition of members both national and local for their devotion and hard work in the field of public service.

AHEPA Academy of Achievement Awards[edit]

These awards were funded by the Educational Foundation to honor individuals who excel in various areas of expertise. Awards can be given in the fields of business, journalism, the arts, science, and other liberal sciences.

  • Rev. Dn. Chris Avramopolos - Academy of Achievement in Community Service (2016)
  • Eleni Bousis - Academy of Achievement in Philanthropy (2016)
  • Basile Katsikis - Academy of Achievement in Arts (2016)

AHEPA Archbishop Iakovos Humanitarian Award[edit]

This award was developed to honor the Archbishop of North and South America who was an active and vocal member of the AHEPA. Archbishop Iakovos helped define a generation of Orthodox faithful in the Americas. His vision and support of Human rights and compassion are a testament to his being a unique life force for all. This award is given to those individuals who surpass any standard of giving in support of Human rights and freedom.

List of recipients:

  • Andrew A. Athens - Global Hellenic Diaspora Leader
  • Eugene Rossides - American Hellenic Institute Founder
  • Andrew S. Natsios - Former USAID Administrator
  • George Behrakis - Businessmen/Philanthropists
  • George Marcus - Businessmen/Philanthropists
  • B'nai B'rith International - First organization to receive the award (2014)
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation (2015)

AHEPA Medal of Freedom/Military Medal of Honor[edit]

Awarded to active and retired members of the military in honor of their service to their country.

This award was developed to honor those individuals who sacrifice their lives or put their lives in harm’s way in executing their duty. After the tragic events of 9/11 this award was created and awarded to the brave first responders. Additionally, this award is also reserved for any individual who sacrifices his or her own safety for those of others.

  • Col. Alan C. Macaulay (2015)

AHEPA Demosthenes Award[edit]

An award developed exclusively for those individuals who excel in the area of broadcasting or reporting the news, in any form. Television and or radio news personalities and other such journalists are eligible for this award.

AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award[edit]

This award is bestowed exclusively by the Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA on a member of the Order for a lifetime of achievement in the Order of AHEPA.

  • Gus J. James II - AHEPA Past Supreme President (2015)
  • James S. Scofield - AHEPA Past Supreme President (2016)

AHEPAN of the Year[edit]

The AHEPAN of the Year award is in recognition of outstanding leadership, devoted services, and unselfish contributions toward the advancement of the programs and progress of the Order of AHEPA over an AHEPA fiscal year.

All National AHEPA awards are awarded by the AHEPA Supreme Lodge and are reviewed and the criterion is always changing as dictated by the times by the AHEPA Supreme Lodge.

Athletics[edit]

In 1970, the AHEPA athletic program took form. AHEPA athletics include: softball, golf, bowling, basketball, with regional and national tournaments held annually. Each year, at the Supreme Convention, inductions are made into the AHEPA Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame.[13]

In 1975, the Order of AHEPA, at the suggestion of Past Supreme President, Louis Manesiotis and through the leadership of Supreme Athletic Director Dr. Monthe N. Kofos, established the AHEPA Athletic Hall of Fame to honor outstanding Hellenic athletes and sports personages. As of 2013, 130 members have been inducted. Annually, a representative and diverse of Ahepans appointed by the Supreme Athletic Director select worthy and eligible candidates for induction, after a nomination process pursuant to established written guidelines for both nomination and selection. The hallmarks of said process are objectivity, transparency and accountability.

Categories of selection[edit]

There are two categories of selection;

  1. ATHLETES who have excelled in their particular field of play, being eligible after the passage of three (3) years from the end of their playing days (retirement); and
  2. CONTRIBUTORS, being individuals who have contributed in some fashion to the field of athletics; for example, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Supporters and Media Personalities.

Formal induction into the AHEPA Athletic Hall of Fame is accomplished annually at the annual AHEPA Supreme National Convention during the Athletic Awards Luncheon.

AHEPA is honored to recognize Hellenes of outstanding athletic accomplishment. The AHEPA ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME serves to memorialize these individuals and recognize their outstanding achievements.

ELIGIBILITY and nomination process[edit]

  • A nominated candidate must be of Hellenic descent.
  • Nominated candidate was considered exemplary in their particular sport or athletic field. (Criteria as set forth in the guidelines includes both accomplishments and good character)
  • Nominated candidate needs to be nominated by an AHEPAN, supported by his chapter, and accompanied by the completion of the appropriate nomination forms attached hereto.
  • A current photograph (head shot) of the candidate, as well as an action shot (if applicable), is requested.
  • Once the nomination application is received, it is reviewed by the selection committee, and determined is thereafter included on the selection ballot.

AHEPA Athletic Hall of Fame[edit]

Member Year inducted Member Year inducted
Harry Agganis 1975 Alex Aronis 2000
Dee Andros 1975 George Bollas Sr. 2000
Peter Clentzos 1975 Alex G. Spanos 2000
Alex Kampouris 1975 Peter G. Stark 2000
Alex Karras 1975 Jimmie Angelopoulos 2002
Jim Londos 1975 John Critzos II 2002
Milt Pappas 1975 Charles George 2002
Pete Pihos 1975 Michael Siganos 2002
Lou Tsioropoulos 1975 Peter Angelos 2003
Gus Zarnas 1975 George Dimit 2003
Alex Grammas 1976 Jim Korfas 2003
Johnny Morris 1976 Tom Palis 2003
George Saimes 1976 Jim Carson 2004
Dr. George Kaftan 1977 Jim Daopoulos 2004
James Kekeris 1977 Nick Pappas 2004
Gus Triandos 1977 Lou Skizas 2004
Mike Castronis 1978 Mike Balitsaris 2005
William Mackrides 1978 Chris Kontos 2005
Gus Zitrides 1978 Manuel Scarmoutsos 2005
Arthur Gregory 1979 Ernie Serfas 2005
Billy Loes 1979 Anthony Loukas 2006
Anton Christoforides 1980 George Makris 2006
Gus Niarhos 1980 Carl Angelos 2007
Nick Kerasiotis 1981 George Pappas 2007
Andy Marefos 1981 Andy Sideris 2007
Chris Pelekoudas 1981 John Galaris 2009
Nick Kladis 1982 Greg Manesiotis 2009
Dr. Monthe Kofos 1982 Vasili (Billy) Pappas 2009
Archie Matsos 1982 Pete Sampras 2009
Nick Rassas 1982 Gus Constantine 2010
George Zaharias 1982 Eric Karros 2010
Ted Karras 1983 Steve Lappas 2010
John Maskas 1983 Stanley Maratos 2010
Nick Matis 1984 Art Anastopoulo 2011
Leah Poulos-Mueller 1984 Adam Archuletta 2011
Chris Farasopoulos 1985 Nick Kypreos 2011
Dr. George Poloynis 1986 Stan Spirou 2011
Nick Rodis 1986 George Theodore 2011
John Mellekas 1986 Dean Lampros 2012
Plato Andros 1987 Steve Leondis 2012
Louis Manesiotis 1987 Nick Pappageorge 2012
John Karras 1988 Tom Pappas 2012
Menil Mavraides 1988 Leonidas Tsantiris 2012
Eugene Rossides 1989 William Atessis 2013
Nickos Spanakos 1989 Nick Galis 2013
Petros Spanakos 1989 Bill Gazonas 2013
Van Nomikos 1990 Greg Louganis 2013
Peter Tountas 1990 Charles Theokas 2013
Alex Athas 1991 Peter Karmanos Jr. 2014
Bob Costas 1991 Joe Panos 2014
Louis Karras 1991 Matt Stover 2014
Archie Kodros 1991 Kirk Vidas 2014
Mike Schooles 1991 Theodore ("Ted") Leonsis 2015
Nick Conteas 1992 Christina Loukas 2015
Bill Korinthias 1992 Bob Barnek 2015
Lee Palles 1992 Paul J. Kaliades 2015
George Theodoratos 1992 Nicolette Gianulias 2016
Joe Collins 1993 Niko Koutouvides 2016
Ted Gregory 1993 John Margaritis 2016
Spiros Siaggas 1993 Steven Schubert 2016
Chris Vagotis 1993 Christos Tsiotos 2016
Al Campanis 1994
John Diamantakos 1994
Peter Kouchalakis 1994
John Scolinos 1994
Jimmy Caras 1995
George Dales 1995
James Poulos 1995
David Psaltis 1995
Augustus Ganakas 1996
Dr. Tom Katsimpalis 1996
John Tsitouris 1996
Paul Xanthos 1996
Ernest Afaganis 1997
Phil Bouzeos 1997
John Pachivas Sr. 1997
Lou Tsipis 1997
Nick Sacrinty 1998
Robert Samaras 1998
Fred Smerlas 1998
Leo Thalassites 1998
George Catavolos 1999
Art Demmas 1999
Tom Laris 1999
Diana Nyad 1999

AHEPA athletics recognizes outstanding athletic achievements in many ways. AHEPA athletics department award scholarships to deserving scholar-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding achievements both in the classroom and the athletic fields. The funds are available through the athletic booster trust fund established through the donations of individuals.

AHEPA hosts many regional and national tournaments in sports such as golf, bowling, basketball, and softball. Winners of the tournaments are awarded in many cases free travel to the national tournament during the Supreme convention.

The most prestigious AHEPA athletic award is the Harry Agganis Hellenic Athlete Award, which is awarded annually to the outstanding Hellene in the field of athletics professional or amateur of college level and above.[5]

Harry Agganis Award winners[edit]

Year Award winner Sport Year Award winner Sport
1955 Alex Aronis Football 1990 Pete Sampras Tennis
1956 George Spanes Football 1991 Karen Choppelas Horstmeyer Basketball coach
1957 Alex Karras Football 1992 Steve Lappas NCAA basketball coach
1958 Lou Tsiriopoulos Basketball 1993 Chris Kontos Hockey
1959 Gus Triandos Baseball 1994 Alkis Panagoulis Soccer coach
1960 Milt Pappas Baseball 1995 John Mitsopoulos Weight lifting
1961 Chris Pelekoudas Baseball umpire 1996 Peter Karmanos Jr. Hockey
1962 Alex Grammas Baseball 1997 Spiros Siaggas AHEPA athletics
1963 George Saimes Football 1998 Peter Clentzos Olympic pole vaulter
1964 NONE NONE 1999 James Daopoulos NFL Super Bowl Referee
1965 Chris Pelekoudas Baseball umpire 2000 John Korfas Basketball
1966 Peter Tountas Bowling 2001 Matt Stover Football
1967 Dee Andros Football 2002 None None
1968 None None 2003 None None
1969 Angelo Loukas Football 2004 Tom Pappas Decathlon
1970 George Allen Track 2005 NONE NONE
1971 George Pappas Bowling 2006 NONE NONE
1972 Gus Ganakas Basketball 2007 NONE NONE
1973 Chris Farasopoulos Football 2008 None None
1974 Alex Strike World Judo Champ 2009 Nick Markakis Baseball
1975 Leah Poulos Olympic Speed Skater 2010 George John Soccer
1976 NONE NONE 2011 Dan Mavraides Basketball
1977 John Scolinos Baseball Coach 2012 William Vlachos Rimington Finalist
1978 NONE NONE 2013 Niko Koutouvides Football
1979 Alec Campanis L.A. Dodgers GM 2014 Kostas Koufos Basketball
1980 Lee Palles Decathlon 2015 Giannis Antetokounmpo Basketball
1981 Fred Smerlas Football 2016 Mike Moustakas Baseball
1982 Art Demmas NFL Referee 2017
1983 Greg Louganis Olympic Diving 2018
1984 Mike Castronis NCAA Football Coach 2019
1985 Greg Louganis Olympic Diving 2020
1986 Peter Dalis UCLA Athletic Director 2021
1987 Greg Tafralis Track 2022
1988 Tom Patsalis Track 2023
1989 Chris Chelios Hockey 2024

Structure[edit]

The AHEPA Family consists of four organizations, the AHEPA (men), Daughters of Penelope (women), Sons of Pericles (young men) and Maids of Athena (young women). AHEPA publishes The AHEPAN, which is the second largest Greek American publication in circulation. The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association also maintains ties with the similar Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.

The order of AHEPA consists of Chapters, Districts, and the Supreme Lodge.

Chapters[edit]

Any organization of men, but no fewer than ten, which individually and collectively, shall have duly petitioned for and received a Charter from the Supreme Lodge and which, thus Chartered and authorized, is functioning under the name and style of AHEPA, or its corporate name, shall be deemed to be a Chapter of the Order of AHEPA, and subject to its jurisdiction.[14]

At the chapter level, the main officer positions are:[15]

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Chaplain
  • Warden
  • Captain of the Guard

In addition, a chapter may also have the following officer positions:

  • Vice-President/Director of Hellenism
  • Vice-President/Director of Education
  • Vice-President/Director of Philanthropy
  • Vice-President/Director of Civic Responsibility
  • Vice-President/Director of Family and Individual Excellence
  • Inside Sentinel
  • Outside Sentinel
  • Athletic Director

The chapter also has a Board of Governors composed of a Chairman and a number of Governors selected in accordance with the number of members for whom per capita assessment has been paid to AHEPA Headquarters.

Number of Governors Based on Chapter Size:

  • 10-25 Members 2 Governors
  • 26-100 Members 4 Governors
  • 101-200 Members 6 Governors
  • 201-300 Members 8 Governors
  • 301-400 Members 10 Governors
  • 401-500 Members 12 Governors
  • 501 and up Members 14 Governors

The Officers of a Chapter shall serve for a term of twelve (12) months, or until their successors are elected and qualified.

All AHEPA Chapters report to a specific District.

Districts[edit]

The Chapters within the jurisdiction of this Order may be organized by the Supreme Lodge into twenty-seven (27) Districts. Each District shall bear an individual name and number. Each District shall have a minimum of three (3) active Chapters. The Chapters in a District with less than three (3) active Chapters will be assigned by the Supreme Lodge to another District or Districts. The Supreme Lodge shall fix the boundaries of each District.[16]

At the District level, the main officer positions are:[17]

  • District Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • District Secretary
  • District Treasurer
  • District Marshal
  • District Warden
  • District Athletic Director

In addition, a District may also have the following officer positions:

  • Vice-President/Director of Hellenism
  • Vice-President/Director of Education
  • Vice-President/Director of Philanthropy
  • Vice-President/Director of Civic Responsibility
  • Vice-President/Director of Family and Individual Excellence

Each and every District of the Order shall hold a District Convention annually during the months of May, June, or July. The specific time, date and place for succeeding District Conventions may be chosen by the District Convention not more than two (2) years in advance. The Order of AHEPA in Canada may hold the District Conventions not later than the first week in August.[18]

The Conventions of each District shall be composed of duly elected Delegates of the respective Chapters composing the District and the District Officers thereof, and the immediate retiring District Governor. All Past District Governors of any District in the AHEPA Domain may vote and have a sovereign vote provided that they are members in good standing of a Chapter of that District.[19]

The District Conventions of the Order of AHEPA shall have power and authority to:

  1. ALL MATTERS: Consider and discuss all matters affecting the affairs of the Order in the District;
  2. LEGISLATION: Adopt such legislation as the Delegates may deem necessary and proper for the welfare of the District, provided that such legislation does not in any way conflict with the AHEPA CONSTITUTION and AHEPA BYLAWS and decrees of the Supreme Convention of the Order;
  3. DECISIONS: Decide any and all things necessary and proper for the advancement of the District;
  4. RESOLUTIONS: Pass resolutions and transmit them to the Supreme Convention through the District Governor; and
  5. APPROPRIATE FUNDS: To appropriate monies had or to be had in the District Treasury, prescribe the manner and purposes of and for which such appropriations shall be used and designate the Officer or Officers who are to disburse the same.

List of Districts[edit]

  • MOTHER LODGE DISTRICT NO. 1: All Chapters within the states of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.
  • CITRUS DISTRICT NO. 2: All Chapters within the state of Florida, Puerto Rico and in Nassau, Bahamas.
  • CAPITAL DISTRICT NO. 3: All Chapters within the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia and the Chapter of Bluefield, West Virginia.
  • POWER DISTRICT NO. 4: All Chapters within the state of Pennsylvania, excepting Sharon-Farrell.
  • John G. Thevos DISTRICT NO. 5: All Chapters within the state of New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. ( http://ahepadistrict5.org/ )
  • EMPIRE DISTRICT NO. 6: All Chapters within the State of New York.
  • YANKEE DISTRICT NO. 7: All Chapters within the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the Chapter of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
  • BAY STATE DISTRICT NO. 8: All Chapters within the State of Massachusetts, excepting the Chapter at Pittsfield.
  • NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND DISTRICT NO. 9: All Chapters within the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
  • AUTOMOTIVE DISTRICT NO. 10: All Chapters within the state of Michigan.
  • BUCKEYE DISTRICT NO. 11: All Chapters within the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and the Chapters at Weirton, Huntington, Wheeling, Clarksburg and Charleston, West Virginia and Sharon-Farrell, Pennsylvania.
  • AHEPA HOOSIER DISTRICT NO. 12: All Chapters within the state of Indiana.
  • BLUE RIBBON DISTRICT NO. 13: All Chapters within the states of Illinois, Wisconsin.
  • GRAINFIELDS DISTRICT NO. 14: All Chapters within the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and St. Louis,MO and Omaha,NE chapters.
  • DELTA DISTRICT NO. 16: All Chapters within the states of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas City, MO chapter.
  • SILVER DISTRICT NO. 17: All Chapters within the states of New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado, and Bridgeport, Nebraska.
  • EL CAMINO REAL DISTRICT NO. 20: All Chapters within the state of Arizona, Hawaii and south of Bakersfield, California; and Chapters in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • GOLDEN GATE DISTRICT NO. 21: All Chapters north and exclusive of Bakersfield in California, and the Chapter at Reno, Nevada.
  • FIREWOOD DISTRICT NO. 22: All Chapters in the states of Oregon and Washington.
  • BEAVER DISTRICT NO. 23: All Chapters in the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Islands, and New Brunswick, Canada.
  • ROYAL CANADIAN DISTRICT NO. 24: All Chapters in Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.
  • HELLAS DISTRICT NO. 25: All Chapters situated within Greece.
  • CYPRUS DISTRICT NO. 27: All Chapters situated within Cyprus.

Regions[edit]

AHEPA also has Regions. There are nine Regions defined by the Order of AHEPA. Each Region is divided into a set of active districts. Each Region also has an elected Supreme Governor who makes up part of the Supreme lodge.

The nine Regions are:

  • Region 1 – Districts 1 and 2. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee
  • Region 2 – Districts 3 and 4. West Virginia, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia
  • Region 3 = Districts 5 and 6. Delaware, New Jersey, New York
  • Region 4 = Districts 7, 8 and 9. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Region 5 = Districts 10 and 11. Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, except Bloomfield WV
  • Region 6 = Districts 12, 13 and 14. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, E. Nebraska, E. Missouri
  • Region 7 = Districts 15, 16 and 17. Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, W. Missouri, W. Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, except Salt Lake City
  • Region 8 = Districts 20, 21 and 22. Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah
  • Region 10 = Districts 25 and 27. Greece, Cyprus, All of Europe

Supreme Lodge[edit]

The "Supreme Lodge" of this Order shall be composed of the following Supreme Officers:[20]

  • Supreme President
  • Supreme Vice President
  • Canadian President
  • Supreme Secretary
  • Supreme Treasurer
  • Supreme Counselor
  • Nine Supreme/Regional Governors

Notable members[edit]

Politics[edit]

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt - President of the United States
  • Harry S. Truman - President United States
  • Gerald Ford - President United States
  • Hubert H. Humphrey - Vice-President United States
  • Spiro T. Agnew - Vice-President United States
  • Robert F. Kennedy - U.S Senator
  • Paul Tsongas - U.S Senator
  • Claiborne Pell - U.S. Senator
  • Paul S. Sarbanes - U.S. Senator
  • John Herschel Glenn Jr. - U.S. Senator and Astronaut
  • George V. Voinovich - U.S. Senator
  • Jack Reed - U.S. Senator
  • Robert Menendez - U.S. Senator
  • Henry J. Allen - U.S. Senator
  • James J. Davis - U.S. Senator
  • Patrick A. McCarran - U.S. Senator
  • George D. Aiken - U.S. Senator
  • Ralph E. Flanders - U.S. Senator
  • William F. Knowland - U.S. Senator
  • William Benton - U.S. Senator
  • Irving M. Ives - U.S. Senator
  • Thomas E. Martin - U.S. Senator
  • Herman Welker - U.S. Senator
  • Estes Kefauver - U.S. Senator
  • Frank Church - U.S. Senator
  • William Spong - U.S. Senator
  • Peter Visclosky - U.S. Representative
  • Gus M. Bilirakis - U.S. Representative
  • Michael Bilirakis - U.S. Representative
  • John Sarbanes - U.S. Representative
  • Benjamin Gilman - U.S. Representative
  • Zack Space - U.S. Representative
  • Donald Payne - U.S. Representative
  • D. Worth Clark - U.S. Representative
  • A. Piatt Andrew - U.S. Representative
  • Ernest W. Gibson - U.S. Representative
  • Frank R. Havenner - U.S. Representative
  • William C. Lantaff - U.S. Representative
  • A.L. Miller - U.S. Representative
  • Norris Cotton - U.S. Representative
  • Thomas Martin - U.S. Representative
  • Charles P. Nelson - U.S. Representative
  • Clifford Davis - U.S. Representative
  • Herbert Warburton - U.S. Representative
  • Thomas P. O'Neil Jr. - U.S. Representative
  • William H. Ayres - U.S. Representative
  • John Brademas - U.S. Representative
  • Glenard P. Lipscomb - U.S. Representative
  • John W. Wydler - U.S. Representative
  • Peter N. Kyros - U.S. Representative
  • Nick Galifianakis - U.S. Representative
  • John J. McFall - U.S. Representative
  • Dante B. Fascell - U.S. Representative
  • Gus Yatron - U.S. Representative
  • Thomas Downing - U.S. Representative
  • Porter Hardy - U.S. Representative
  • Michael Dukakis - Governor and Democratic Presidential Nominee
  • Nicholas Burns - Under Secretary of State for Political affairs
  • William H. Vanderbilt - Governor Rhode Island
  • Paul V. McNutt - Governor Indiana
  • Fred W. Green - Governor Michigan
  • Harry H. Woodring - Governor Kansas
  • J.E. Erickson - Governor Montana
  • R. Gregg Cherry - Governor North Carolina
  • Ralph H. Gates - Governor Indiana
  • Sam C. Ford - Governor Montana
  • Ernest W. Gibson - Governor Vermont
  • William Preston Lane - Governor Maryland
  • G. Mennen Williams - Governor Michigan
  • J. Caleb Boggs - Governor Delaware
  • C. J. Rogers - Governor Wyoming
  • Frank J. Lausche - Governor Ohio
  • Joseph B. Johnson - Governor Vermont
  • Leo A. Hoegh - Governor Iowa
  • William Stratton - Governor Illinois
  • Christian A. Herter - Governor Massachusetts
  • Edmund C. Muskie - Governor Maine
  • Averell Harriman - Governor New York
  • Price Daniel - Governor Texas
  • Ernest F. Hollings - Governor South Carolina
  • George C. Wallace - Governor Alabama
  • Otto Kerner - Governor Illinois
  • Warren E. Hearnes - Governor of Missouri
  • Robert E. McNair - Governor South Carolina
  • Joseph A. Cox - New York State Supreme Court Justice

Athletes[edit]

Actors and authors[edit]

Religious leaders[edit]

  • Archbishop Iakovos - Archbishop of North and South America, Exarch of the lands between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Metropolitan Cleopas Strongylis - Metropolitan of Sweden and All Scandinavia
  • Metropolitan Gerasimos - Metropolitan Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco

Businessmen and philanthropists[edit]

Other[edit]

  • Charles C. Moskos - Military Sociologist Professor
  • Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd - Pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistic
  • Dr. Michael G. Mulinos
  • A.A. Pantelis - Founder of Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois
  • George N. Papanicolaou - Discover of "Pap smear" test
  • Mike Manatos - Presidential Administrative Assistant (JFK and LBJ)
  • Dr. Theodore Saloutos - Professor and Chairman of the Department of History at UCLA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://ahepa.org/ahepa/about.html
  2. ^ Alan Axelrod, International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, New York: Facts on File, 1997, pp.4-5
  3. ^ AHEPA Districts and chapters Archived July 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ The Order of AHEPA 1922-1972, A tribute of the first 50 years. Copyright 1972 by George J. Leber, Library of Congress Catalog Number: 72-81878
  5. ^ a b Order of AHEPA 90th Anniversary 1922-2012, 2012 AHEPA Family Album, 90th Supreme Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22–27, 2012
  6. ^ Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations Westport, CT; Greenwood Press pp.23,25
  7. ^ "AHEPA". AHEPA. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  8. ^ Schmidt p.25
  9. ^ a b Axelrod p.5
  10. ^ AHEPA membership fact sheet via AHEPA HQ in Washington, DC
  11. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 13
  12. ^ Schmidt
  13. ^ a b AHEPA fact sheet via AHEPA HQ in Washington, DC
  14. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 8
  15. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 9
  16. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 10
  17. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 12
  18. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 11
  19. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 11
  20. ^ AHEPA Constitution 2013; Article 15

External links[edit]