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Hellenic College Holy Cross Announces Honorary Speaker and Honoree at 2012 Commencement

 George D. Behrakis to be Honored and to Deliver Commencement Address

Hellenic College Holy Cross, the oldest and largest accredited Orthodox Christian institution of higher learning, announced that George D. Behrakis will deliver the HCHC Commencement address and receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements, his many humanitarian and philanthropic acts, and his life-long and extraordinary commitment and service to his Hellenic Orthodox Christian heritage.

The HCHC 70th Commencement exercises will be held May 19, 2012 at 11 a.m., at the Pappas Auditorium.  Preceding commencement, at 8:00 AM, orthros and the hierarchal divine liturgy officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will take place at the Holy Cross Chapel. Bachelor of Art degrees will be administered to twenty-one students.  Thirty-seven students will receive one of the following degrees: Master of Theology, Master of Theological Studies or Master of Divinity.


George D. Behrakis Background

Professional   Mr. Behrakis is Chairman of Gainsborough Investments, Lexington, MA. He has distinguished himself in the pharmaceutical industry as a researcher and marketer of asthma and allergy products.  Mr. Behrakis is the founder of two successful companies: Dooner Laboratories and Muro Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Humanitarian   Mr. Behrakis was essential in coordinating the arrangements for President Mikhail Gorbachev receiving the 2005 Athenagoras Human Rights Award in his capacity as a founding director of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America. Mr. Behrakis has continuously answered the call for stewardship of his time, talent and treasure, putting into action the words of our Lord Savior and God in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Philanthropy   Among Mr. Behrakis’ generous gifts are: The George D. and Margo Behrakis Wing for Greek and Roman Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; the George D. Behrakis Chair in the Field of Targeted Pharmaceuticals and the Behrakis Health Science Center, both at  Northeastern University; the George D. Behrakis Hellenic Fellowship in Respiratory Allergy at the John Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center; the George D. Behrakis Fellowship in cardiovascular research, supporting Greek physicians from Greece, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Heritage   Mr. Behrakis is an archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle.  He has served as an archon for 32 years. His service to the Mother Church and its Eparchy in America is as extensive as it is distinguished. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He has served as president of his home parish of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Lowell, MA; as vice-chairman of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology; as chairman of Leadership 100; and as a founder of Faith Endowment.  Mr. Behrakis was the force behind the establishment of the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, Metropolis of Boston Camp and Retreat Center in New Hampshire.

Family   Mr. Behrakis and his wife Margo Behrakis of fifty years, reside in North Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The couple has four married children and nine grandchildren.