Dedication of PIERCE’s Renovated Chemistry and Biology Labs
The American College of Greece is deeply grateful to S&B Minerals (recently acquired by IMERYS) and PHARMATHEN SA for their generosity in renovating the Chemistry and Biology labs (respectively) at PIERCE, which were revealed in a college-wide dedication ceremony April 21 amid much fanfare.
Kicking off the dedication ceremony attended by ACG Trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni, ACG President Dr David G. Horner thanked ACG Trustee Ulysses Kyriakopoulos, who as S&B Minerals Chairman, offered to renovate the Chemistry lab as part donation from S&B (half) and as part donation from the Kyriacopoulos family back in 2014, describing him as a “friend of ACG,” who was also one of the founders of ALBA in 1992, and started Junior Achievement in Greece in 2001, joining the ACG family when ALBA came on board in 2012 – among many other hats he has worn in his long and rich career.
Dr Horner also thanked Vasilis Katsos (PIERCE ’91), President & CEO of PHARMATHEN SA, a leading pharmaceutical company with a global reach of more than 85 countries for his “enormous generosity” in renovating the Biology lab, and for his role as a devoted alumnus as PIERCE commencement speaker in 2013, and for his invaluable support overall. Dr Horner also spoke of the family tradition of both men at PIERCE, as both of their sisters – Florika Kyriacopoulos (PIERCE ‘72) and Nelly Katsou (PIERCE ‘83) Vice President of the Board and Managing Director of PHARMATHEN – graduated from PIERCE and are active alumnae. Dr Horner presented the two men with certificates of appreciation for their companies, expressing the ACG community’s “profound appreciation for what you have done and for what you are doing.”
Dr Horner also thanked both families for their tireless dedication, support, and commitment to The American College of Greece through scholarships and internships provided by their companies to DEREE students (S&B Minerals – now owned by IMERYS – provides two International Internships to DEREE students annually) and to PIERCE students (two PHARMATHEN scholarships annually available for students at PIERCE).
“The dedication of these two facilities is a happy occasion” Dr Horner added, while praising all those involved with creating the state-of-the-art labs in “record time,” especially ACG Technical Services staff, providing a boost to PIERCE’s experiential learning environment that will not only benefit students studying science at PIERCE, but also at DEREE – and also provide research opportunities for faculty. He noted that 30 per cent of PIERCE students enter medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, and spoke of DEREE’s science expansion and the collaboration between PIERCE and DEREE faculties and departments in planning the labs.
Dr Horner also thanked those present at the dedication ceremony, including ACG Trustees Vana Lavidas (DEREE ’79) – chairman of the Board of Directors at MDA Hellas – and Nikos M. Ebeoglou – executive Board Chairman of ALBA Graduate School, Emmy Katsou (wife of Vassilis Katsos), Angeliki Katsou (mother of Nelly and Vassilis Katsos), Nicol Kyriacopoulou (Ulysses Kyriacopoulos’ wife), as well as numerous alumni from PHARMATHEN and IMERYS, ACG faculty, including from the PIERCE and DEREE science departments, staff and students, PHARMATHEN scholarship recipient from PIERCE Myrto Mavrikiou (B’ Gymnasium) and DEREE marketing student Maria Zotou Varouta, who interned with S&B in Philadelphia last year in a Supply Chain position.
On his part, Mr Vasilis Katsos (PIERCE ‘91) said that it seemed as if it was only a few hours ago that he was sitting at the PIERCE auditorium taking a class, adding that he nor his sister Nelly had had “any second thoughts” on pitching in with the renovation of the Biology lab, since he said, “if we want to see Greece do better, we have to invest in education.” He called it an “obligation” to help the next generation, and to “remodel education.”
Upon accepting his certificate of appreciation, ACG Trustee Ulysses Kyriacopoulos said that he was more than happy to initiate the renovation of the Chemistry lab, in order to turn it into as excellent a facilty as the rest of PIERCE, considering the lab hadn’t been renovated since the 1960s, and spoke fondly of PIERCE. He told the audience at the PIERCE auditorium that he feels he has known the school for a long time through the countless stories recounted by his sister Florika throughout her school days at PIERCE.
Following the speeches, Florika Kyriacopoulos (PIERCE ’72) unveiled the plaque at the newly-renovated Chemistry lab, named after S&B Minerals, where students demonstrated fun experiments: 1. Fractional distillation of wine, 2. Decomposed Hydrogen peroxide by potassium iodide, 3. Reaction between the aluminum and sodium hydroxide.
Nelly Katsou (PIERCE ‘83) unveiled the plaque at the newly-renovated Biology lab, named after PHARMATHEN SA, followed by a demonstration by PIERCE students: 1. DNA extraction from banana, 2. Microscopy slides: Blood smear, plant cell, mitosis, 3. Denaturation of proteins. The student experiments and demonstrations were coordinated by Head of PIERCE Sciences Professor Kostas Abatzis, Chemistry Professor Christos Kourtesakis, and Biology Professor Stefanos Bousios, and were received with wide applause.
The impressive high-tech Chemistry and Biology labs will be used to teach courses at PIERCE in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Sciences, and Technology, while DEREE students studying environmental studies and biology will also be taught at the labs.
The PIERCE Labs are an integral part of the educational process and have always been since the mid-sixties at PIERCE. The labs are organically integrated into the main curriculum, as well as in the afternoon program and clubs. They will be used by Clubs and Societies at PIERCE, inlcuding the student clubs of BIology, Chemistry, Physcis and Nuclear Physcis, as well as for PIERCE’s vocational programs (14-18 years old), and by summer camp students. DEREE student clubs and societies in the Science and Math Department, Environmental Studies Society, and the Biology Club, will also have use of the stellar labs.
Faculty who helped design and plan the renovated chemistry and biology facilities from both PIERCE and DEREE envision that the labs will also also be used to prepare for national and international competititions in the sciences.
Congratulations to all those involved in the renovation of the state-of-the-art labs!
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The AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE (PIERCE-DEREE-ALBA) is a non-profit, non-sectarian educational institution that was founded in 1875. It is the oldest and largest American college in Europe, offering secondary, undergraduate, and graduate studies as well as programs in professional education. ACG is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the most prestigious accrediting organization in the United States, and has a degree validation agreement with the Open University of the United Kingdom. The College enrolls approximately 4,000 students and has 37,000 alumni who live and work in dozens of countries around the world.