Athens College
Athens College is a co-educational private independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 in Psychiko
Psychiko is a suburb of Athens, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Filothei-Psychiko, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.Psychiko is located to the south of the Olympic stadium...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, a suburb of Athens, part of the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation (Ελληνοαμερικανικό Εκπαιδευτικό Ίδρυμα) which also includes Psychiko College, although both schools are usually referred to as "Athens College". It was established in 1925 to bring the best of both Greek
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 educational systems to Greece and is considered top in the country. The school's founders and big donors were Emmanuel Benakis
Emmanuel Benakis
Emmanouil Benakis was a Greek merchant and politician, considered a national benefactor of Greece.Benakis who, after studying in England emigrated to Alexandria, Egypt where he worked for the Greek cotton industrialist Horemi and in whose family he married. There, he had six children. Among them...

, namesake of the Benaki Museum
Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum, established and endowed in 1930 by Antonis Benakis in memory of his father Emmanuel Benakis, is housed in the Benakis family mansion in downtown Athens, Greece...

 of Athens, as well as the school's main building, and Stephanos Deltas. Instruction is in both Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. The school boasts a long list of successful alumni in politics, business, and the arts. Admission at either the 1st or the 7th grade is very selective. The school is often referred to as a power hub, due to its numerous influential alumni who remain closely connected after graduation. It is one of the most prestigious schools in Europe.


The 3,000 students are divided among Athens and Psychico College, each of which includes an Elementary School
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

, a middle school
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

, and an upper school
Upper school
Upper Schools tend to be schools within secondary education. Outside England, the term normally refers to a section of a larger school. There is some variation in the use of the term in England.-State Maintained Schools:...

. The upper school of Psychico College also offers students interested in studies abroad the International Baccalaureate programme. In addition the adult education
Adult education
Adult education is the practice of teaching and educating adults. Adult education takes place in the workplace, through 'extension' school or 'school of continuing education' . Other learning places include folk high schools, community colleges, and lifelong learning centers...

 program enrolls 2,000 students.

Approximately 98% of its graduates go on to university
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, half of which abroad.

Athens College is known for hosting an annual school fair (Panigiri), which raises money for charity and attracts people from all around Athens and other schools.

Athens College has a great tradition in mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 competitions. The school's students are prepared in the school's Mathematics Club. Many of the school's representatives over the past few years have succeeded in national and international competitions. Also notable are the school's distinctions in competitions such as AMC 8, AMC 10 and AIME
American Invitational Mathematics Examination
The American Invitational Mathematics Examination is a 15-question 3-hour test given since 1983 to those who rank in the top 5% on the AMC 12 high school mathematics contest , and starting in 2010, those who rank in the top 2.5% on the AMC 10.The AIME is the second of two tests used to determine...

. The school's Drama Club has begun a tradition the last years by earning numerous prizes, distinctions and awards in national and regional tournaments.
Athens College's library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 is one of the largest school libraries in Europe and was the first in Greece to have all its books electronically cataloged.
The sporting facilities of Athens College include a gym
The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men...

, two football pitches (one gravel), seven outdoor basketball courts, three outdoor tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool, a track & field court, and an indoor sports center with facilities for squash, table tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, martial arts, and other events.

Athens College is incorporated in both Greece and the State of New York and is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Furthermore, very important for the school's spirit and an indication of its special status is its scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

 program (funded by the parents associations and the alumni club SAKA
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

) which has given numerous students from all socioeconomic layers the opportunity to study there.

Mission statement

“The mission of Athens College is to provide, by international standards, the highest quality education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 to the most deserving candidates and to cultivate in its students those habits of mind, body, and spirit necessary for responsible citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 in Greece and the world; moral courage, intellectual discipline, compassion, and an unswerving devotion to justice and truth.

Our goal is to instill in our students, by teaching and by example, a strong sense of measure. We seek thereby to secure in them the bond between learning and judgment and the affiliation of intelligence and responsibility. Thus do we honor the enduring values embodied in the tradition of both Greece and America. Thus do we cultivate a deep respect for the Greek heritage in all its richness and its complexities.”


Athens College was established in 1925 by a group of enlightened Greeks (Emmanuel Benakis and Stephanos Delta among them) with the support of American philhellenes, including Dr. Bert Hodge, Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
The Founders’ vision, which in fact was translated into reality even in the earliest years of the school’s existence, revolved around the creation of a school which fostered the “harmonious development of students’ intellectual, ethical and physical capabilities, especially character” by enhancing the existing educational system with “modern educational methods which took into account the Greek nation’s history, traditions, culture and specific needs.”

Athens College 1925-1980

The Founding Committee of Athens College, which became its Board of Directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

, was organized in May 1924. Its members were Epaminondas Charilaos, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bert Hodge Hill, Director of the American School of Classical Studies, Stephanos Delta, retired businessman and treasurer of the Refugee Settlement Commission, Stavros Papadakis, Y.M.C.A. secretary, Emmanuel Benakis, retired businessman, former Minister and former Mayor of Athens, Petros Calligas, former Minister, Harold Jacquith, Director of the Near East Relief, Nicolas Kyriakides, shipowner. Later, Emmanuel Benakis who has been a major donator for the College, was named emeritus member and was replaced at the Committee by his son Antonios.

The institution has been officially recognized with the title «Hellenic-American Educational Foundation». The courses began in October 1925 with 15 pupils (it was a school for boys). A building was rented at Androu Street for $215 per month, and Emmanuel Benakis and Stephanos Delta covered the first expenses (£2000). The first Headmaster of the College was the Englishman F. Stroud Read. The American Homer Davis, former teacher at Robert College of Constantinople, had in charge the English Department. Stephanos Delta provided for some years the needed funds for the operation of the School.

In 1926 the Greek-American Evripides Kehayas, president of Standard Commercial Tobacco Co., offered $100,000 to the College. In January 1927, a “Board of Trustees of Athens College in Greece” was founded at New York. The same year, Emmanuel Benakis offered to the College another $100,000 to by land at Psychico, suburbs of Athens. Later, Benakis and Delta offered a huge supplement of $500,000. Other Greek personalities, as Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos
Eleftherios Venizelos was an eminent Greek revolutionary, a prominent and illustrious statesman as well as a charismatic leader in the early 20th century. Elected several times as Prime Minister of Greece and served from 1910 to 1920 and from 1928 to 1932...

, provided more funds. A new building began to be constructed in March 1927.
Athens College begun its operation at the new building, called Benaki Hall, in autumn 1928, with 270 pupils, 91 being boarders. President of the College from 1927 was Dr. Henry Dewing. The official opening of Benaki Hall and of the Kehayas aisle took place in May 1929. In June of the same year, graduated the first five pupils.
During the academic year 1930-31, the number of the pupils reached 351, and the number of professors 44 (9 were Americans, the rest of them Greek). A seventh year was then added to the six-year Gymnasium. This supplementary year will be a particularity of Athens College.
During the 1930s, the College had many economic difficulties, and new collects were then organized. With money from various sponsors, new buildings have been constructed, the library has been founded as well a scholarship fund.
Homer Davis, who was Acting Director of the College after the departure of Dewing in 1930, was named its President in 1932. He will keep this charge until 1960, and will be Acting President in 1964-65. The Greek co-directors during those years, were Michael Michaelides-Nouaros (1925-27), Demetrius Georgakis (1927-36) and Emmanuel Troulinos (1936-62).

The first school-laboratories have been organized in Athens College during the 1930s, by professor of physics Panos Mavromatis. Four rooms have been provided for laboratories of physics, of chemistry, of biology and of geology. The experimental teaching has been from then a main educational policy of the College. From Athens College graduated many eminent Greek scientists, artists and politicians. This College has been an institution preparing Greek students to enter English and U.S. universities.

Athens College 1980-Today

Athens College (and its sister school, Psychico College, founded in 1980) is owned by the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization with facilities located in Psychico (Middle and High Schools and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) and Kantza in eastern Attica (two elementary schools: Bodossakio and Latsio).

When it first began, in October 1925, Athens College occupied a rented building on 18 Androu Street in the heart of Athens. The school moved to Psychico in 1929. That same year, the Benaki Hall was dedicated by Eleftherios Venizelos, then Greece’s Prime Minister and an ardent supporter of the school. In his speech during the dedication ceremony, Venizelos made some memorable remarks:

". . . Private schools are where the greatest and most successful innovations may flourish: loosely supervised by the State and complying with broad State guidelines, private schools enjoy the freedom which public schools lack and, therefore, may achieve great progress. This is the kind of progress we expect Athens College to achieve. This is my judgment of the significance of the College.”

Notable alumni

  • Michael Dertouzos (1954), former director of the M.I.T. Laboratory for Computer Science, and chairman of the Athens College Board of Trustees.
  • Nikiforos Diamandouros
    Nikiforos Diamandouros
    Nikiforos P. Diamandouros is a Greek academic who was the first National Ombudsman of Greece from 1998 to 2003 and has been European Ombudsman since April 2003. He was re-elected as European Ombudsman in 2010....

     (1961), academic, and since 2003 the European Ombudsman
    European Ombudsman
    The European Ombudsman is an ombudsman for the European Union, based in the Salvador de Madariaga Building in Strasbourg.-History:...

  • Nikos Dimou
    Nikos Dimou
    Nikos Dimou, born in 1935 in Athens, is a Greek writer. He has worked in advertising and as a columnist for magazines and newspapers.- Biography :...

     (1954), writer
    A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

     and broadcaster
    A presenter, or host , is a person or organization responsible for running an event. A museum or university, for example, may be the presenter or host of an exhibit. Likewise, a master of ceremonies is a person that hosts or presents a show...

  • Stavros S. Niarchos
    Stavros Niarchos
    Stavros Spyros Niarchos was a Greek shipping tycoon, sometimes known as "The Golden Greek." In 1952, Stavros Niarchos built the first supertankers capable of transporting large quantities of oil, and subsequently earned millions of dollars as global demand for his ships increased.- Early life :He...

     (1928), Greek shipping
    Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

    Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...

  • Andreas Papandreou
    Andreas Papandreou
    Andreas G. Papandreou ; 5 February 1919 – 23 June 1996) was a Greek economist, a socialist politician and a dominant figure in Greek politics. The son of Georgios Papandreou, Andreas was a Harvard-trained academic...

     (1938), economist
    Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

     and politician
    A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

    ; served three times as Prime Minister of Greece
    Prime Minister of Greece
    The Prime Minister of Greece , officially the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic , is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The current interim Prime Minister is Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, following...

     (1981–1985, 1985–1989, 1993–1996).
  • George Papandreou
    George Andreas Papandreou
    Georgios A. Papandreou , commonly anglicised to George and shortened to Γιώργος in Greek, is a Greek politician who served as Prime Minister of Greece following his party's victory in the 2009 legislative election...

     (1971), politician and Foreign Minister
    Foreign minister
    A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

     of Greece from 1999 to 2004; became leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
    Panhellenic Socialist Movement
    The Panhellenic Socialist Movement , known mostly by its acronym PASOK , is one of the two major political parties in Greece. Founded on 3 September 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, in 1981 PASOK became Greece's first social democratic party to win a majority in parliament.The party is a socialist party...

     in 2004. Voted President of Socialist International
    Socialist International
    The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of democratic socialist, social democratic and labour political parties. It was formed in 1951.- History :...

     on January 2006. He is also the former Prime Minister of Greece
    Prime Minister of Greece
    The Prime Minister of Greece , officially the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic , is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The current interim Prime Minister is Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, following...

  • Antonis Samaras
    Antonis Samaras
    Antonis Samaras is a Greek economist and politician who has been leader of New Democracy, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, since 2009. A Member of Parliament for Messenia, he was Minister of Finance in 1989, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again...

     (1969), leader of the New Democracy
    New Democracy
    New Democracy or the New Democratic Revolution is a Maoist concept based on Mao Zedong's "Bloc of Four Social Classes" theory during post-revolutionary China which argues that democracy in China will take a decisively distinct path from either the liberal capitalist and/or parliamentary democratic...

     party, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, since 2009. A Member of Parliament for Messenia, he was Minister of Finance in 1989, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again from 1990 to 1992. Later, he was Minister of Culture in 2009.
  • Sotirios Hatzigakis
    Sotirios Hatzigakis
    Sotirios Hatzigakis is a Greek conservative politician.Born in Athens, Hatzigakis studied Law at the University of Athens where he gained his Bachelor's degree. He obtained a Master's degree from the University College London, United Kingdom in Economics and from the Sorbonne of Paris, France in...

     (1962), politician and Minister of Employment of Greece from 1989 to 1990 and Minister of Agriculture from 1991 to 1992; Vice - President of the Parliament from 2004 to 2007; and Minister of Justice from 2007
  • Kyriakos Mitsotakis
    Kyriakos Mitsotakis
    Kyriakos Mitsotakis Kyriakos Mitsotakis Kyriakos Mitsotakis (born 4 March 1968 is a Greek politician with New Democracy.Born in Athens, he is the son of the former Greek prime minister and honorary president of the New Democracy political party, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and Marika Giannoukou....

     (1986), Greek Parliament Member
  • Lucas Papademos
    Lucas Papademos
    Lucas Papademos is a Greek economist who has been appointed as Prime Minister of Greece since 11 November 2011.Previously, he was Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 to 2002 and Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010...

     (1966), the Current Prime Minister of Greece
    Prime Minister of Greece
    The Prime Minister of Greece , officially the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic , is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The current interim Prime Minister is Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, following...

    ; an economist and former Vice President of the European Central Bank
    European Central Bank
    The European Central Bank is the institution of the European Union that administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU Eurozone member states. It is thus one of the world's most important central banks. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998, and is headquartered in Frankfurt,...

  • Stavros Dimas
    Stavros Dimas
    Stavros Dimas is a Greek politician who was European Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2009. Since November 2011, he has served in the government of Greece as Minister for Foreign Affairs.-Early career:...

    , Greek politician- the current Foreign Minister of Greece under the Fall 2011 Coalition Government. He has also served as European Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2009.

External links

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