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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.

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 a donation from S&B and 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.

Ulysses Kyriacopoulos, Chairman, S&B Minerals, and Dr David G. Horner, ACG President

Dr Horner also thanked Vassilis 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 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 benefactors 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.”

Vassilis Katsos, President & CEO, Pharmathen, and Dr David G. Horner, ACG President

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, 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 members of the two families present at the dedication ceremony, including Nelly Katsou, Emmy Katsou (wife of Vassilis Katsos), Angeliki Katsou (mother of Nelly and Vassilis Katsos), Florika Kyriakopoulos, and Nicol Kyriacopoulos (Ulysses Kyriacopoulos’ wife). Among those present at the ceremony were 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, ACG faculty, staff and students, as well as PHARMATHEN scholarship recipient from PIERCE Myrto Mavrikiou and DEREE marketing student Maria Zotou Varouta, who interned with S&B in Philadelphia last year.

On his part, Mr Vassilis 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.

Following the speeches, Florika Kyriacopoulos (PIERCE ’72) unveiled the plaque at the newly-renovated Chemistry lab, named after S&B Minerals, where students demonstrated impressive experiments, and Nelly Katsou (PIERCE ‘83) unveiled the plaque at the newly-renovated Biology lab, named after PHARMATHEN SA, followed by a demonstration by PIERCE students.

The impressive high-tech Chemistry and Biology labs will be used to teach science courses at PIERCE, while DEREE students studying environmental studies and biology will also be taught at the labs. DEREE student clubs and societies will also have use of the stellar labs.

Faculty 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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