John Calamos Addresses 76th Hellenic College-Holy Cross Commencement, Receives Honorary Doctor Of Humanities Degree (by Revekka Papadopoulou)

John Calamos receives Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and Hellenic College/Holy Cross President Fr. Christopher Metropulos.

John P. Calamos Sr, Founder, Chairman and CIO of Calamos Investments and a long-time member of Leadership 100, addressed the 76th Commencement of Hellenic College / Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (HCHC) in Brookline, Massachusetts on Saturday, May 19, 2018. He was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humanities (D Hum) degree by the Hellenic College. Calamos is a benefactor to the Faith Endowment, the National Hellenic Museum and many other charitable causes.

The same degree was awarded to Efstathios (Steve) G. Valiotis, Founder and CEO of Alma Realty, Founder of Alma Bank and a benefactor of his parish of Holy Cross in Whitestone, NY, St. Michael's Home in New York, and many other worthy causes in the United States and his native Greece. Rev. Fr. Anthony Coniaris received the honorary Doctor of Divinity (D Div) degree from Holy Cross, his alma mater, for more than sixty years of devoted service to the Church. as a priest, homilist, author, and publisher.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, offered the invocation and Fr. Christopher Metropulos, HCHC President, welcomed some 600 people that filled the HCHC's Pappas Gymnasium. In attendance were also Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, all alumni of Holy Cross, Paulette Poulos, Leadership 100 Executive Director, and members of the two institutions' Boards of Trustees.

Greetings and congratulations were offered by Stratos Efthymiou, Consul General of Greece in Boston, and Jeannie Ranglas, First Vice President of the National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.

Twenty-four students graduated from the Hellenic College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and thirty-five from Holy Cross, nineteen of whom with a Master of Divinity degree, nine with a Master of Theological Studies and seven with a Master of Theology. Also, seven students received a certificate in Byzantine music.

In his address, Calamos congratulated all the graduates and noted that his education and his faith were critical to his success over the years.

"Graduating college for many is taken for granted. But not for me. I’m from a Greek immigrant family that came to the United States and struggled through the years. Our family values and strong work ethic were very valuable to me. We had a grocery store in Chicago where I grew up. Growing up we went to church and Sunday school. I was the first of any of my family and relatives to go to college. I lived the American Dream. Looking back, that college experience changed my life, and along with my family values, it gave me the foundation for any success I achieved", he said.

He also noted that "learning philosophy today is extremely important" and asked the graduates to remember our heritage and create values for the younger generations but not to forget that they are here not to teach them what to think but how to think. 

Offering the benediction, Archbishop Demetrios congratulated the new graduates and conveyed to them the blessing and love of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

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