New York Life Donates $1 Million To HC/HC

Ted Mathas

Ted Mathas, 41, who became a member of Leadership 100 shortly after being named chief executive officer by the Board of Directors of New York Life Insurance Company last year, presented Archbishop Demetrios with a $1 million donation on behalf of the company on Jan. 9 for the establishment of the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor atHellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA. The donation is part of New York Life’s outreach program to the heirs of Greek policyholders in the Ottoman Empire.

Mathas, who was sponsored by Stephen G. Yeonas, L100 Chairman, and Thomas C. Kyrus, a fulfilled member of Leadership 100, served as New York Life's chief operating officer in 2006 and as the company's president since 2007. He graduated from Stanford University in 1989 and received a J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1992, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review and the Order of the Coif.

The donation was presented during a visit with Archbishop Demetrios, along with Dr. Thomas Lelon, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College/Holy Cross, who signed the relevant agreement. Also present at the meeting were Michael DeMicco and William Werfelman both officers of New York Life, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane who facilitated the realization of the project, and Fr. Elias Villis, the parish priest of Mathas.

“We are grateful to New York Life for this significant donation and it is our conviction that this Center will add a unique and dynamic dimension to the academic offering of our Hellenic College/Holy Cross,” stated His Eminence. “It is most appropriate and fitting that our Church which now embraces the children and grandchildren of those refuges from Pontus and Asia Minor, should do everything possible to keep alive the memory of these two once vibrant and prosperous communities.   It is our sacred duty to educate everyone about the life of these people who comprised a very significant portion of the flock of our revered Ecumenical Patriarchate which to this day is suffering from their demise.”

Dr. Thomas Lelon and Archbishop Demetrios accept New York Life donation from Ted Mathas

“We are very pleased to be here today,” said Mathas, at the conclusion of the meeting. “New York Life has a long history of social responsibility and we work hard to fulfill all the commitments we have made in the past. This is an extraordinary example for us to be able to reach back in our history and in as much as we can to provide some good will for what was a great tragedy in Greek history. We had great cooperation from the Greek Orthodox Church and it is something we are very proud of.” 

The focus of the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor at HC/HC will be to educate not only those studying at the School but also the greater community as to the rich history, culture and legacy of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor. Greeks had settled in Asia Minor and then Pontus 1000 years before Christ and played a central and important role in the history of the area for three millennia producing successive waves of the highest quality cultures. The disastrous events with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the Twentieth Century not only resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of  Hellenes in both Pontus and Asia Minor but ultimately the forcible uprooting of over 1,5 million people from their ancestral homelands and the end of this long and significant chapter in history.

Responsible for overseeing all domestic and international business operations including life insurance, retirement income, and investments, Mathas is the 18th chief executive in New York Life’s 163-year history. Additionally, Mathas serves on the board of Haier New York Life Insurances Ltd., the company's joint venture in China, as well as on the board of the American Council of Life Insurers. A Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, New York Life Insurance is the largest mutual1ife insurance company in the United States, and one of the largest life insurers in the world.

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