Dear ACG alumnus/a,
Since this summer, I assumed organizational as well as administrative oversight of the Office of Development & Alumni Relations (ODAR) of The American College of Greece. It is a great honor for me to be given this additional opportunity to advance our historic institution’s educational mission.
Recently, we welcomed two new members to the ODAR team: Maria Laina (DEREE’94), former general manager of Junior Achievement Greece, is our new executive director of Development & Alumni Relations, and Natassa Rangou (DEREE’94), formerly dean ad interim of Student Affairs and director of Career Services at DEREE, is now director of Development and will focus on developing Greece-focused internships for DEREE students. They are joining the veteran ODAR team of Mary-Irene Triantafillou, Christina Chantzou, Evangelia Katsimardou and Elias Chrisospathes. I want to welcome them and wish them success and fulfillment in their new duties.
I come to my new responsibilities with a keen appreciation of the importance of alumni to ACG’s success. For the past three years enrollment has increased significantly across all schools that comprise ACG: PIERCE, DEREE and ALBA. This fall, DEREE welcomed 729 new students, the highest incoming class in recent memory, while PIERCE reached total enrollment of 1245 students, the highest since 1989. And this is only part of the story; underlying these numbers is a significant surge in the quality of incoming students. For example, new DEREE students with terminal high school grade of 18/20 and up comprise 25.1% of the Fall 2015 incoming class, compared to 10% in 2012.
Alumni are major contributors to this success. According to our latest data, “word of mouth” accounted for 66% of all new enrollments – the largest category by far – and although alumni-specific data is not available, it is reasonable to assume that much of this promotion through “word of mouth” is due to you, our students of previous years. Your success and your love for ACG is and will continue to be the main source of strength for your school. We will keep searching for new ways to keep you engaged with ACG as we pursue our goal of strengthening relationships with all ACG constituencies. We will also try to create new services for you, and we welcome your suggestions on this as on any other issue.
A key goal of ODAR is to strengthen the culture of philanthropy in our communities. Fulfillment of this goal has never been more crucial. The deep and prolonged economic crisis in Greece has created a level of need among our young people that supersedes all past experience in the lifetimes of most of us. ACG has responded by increasing financial aid dramatically over the past few years. In 2015-16 your alma mater will grant more than 5.5 million euros in scholarships and financial assistance to students – a 21% increase compared to the year before. I think you will be very proud to know that almost 90% of all applicants received some form of financial aid.
To assist in raising more funds from individuals, foundations and corporations we have just hired two experienced gift officers who will be working through our office in Boston: Adam Steinberg, formerly associate director of Leadership Gifts at Trinity College in Connecticut, is our new director of Major Gifts – North America, and Jonathan Carroll, PhD, formerly director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Babson College, is our new director of Corporate and Foundation Relations / Major Gifts officer. We are also looking to increase fundraising in Greece. You should be aware that philanthropy does not always have to be in the form of monetary donations. To give you an example, companies in Greece or abroad, can offer internships or apprenticeships to our students, to help them mature professionally and to prepare them for the global marketplace.
With these thoughts, I would like to welcome you to this new issue of Touch Base, and to thank you for your continued love and support of The American College of Greece – your school.
Enjoy your reading!
Dimitris Andreou, PhD
Vice President of Enrollment & Administration
The American College of Greece