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FMU professor to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

FLORENCE, S.C. – Andrew G. Kampiziones, a professor of philosophy at Francis Marion University, has been selected as a 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient.

 The prestigious award will be presented on May 11 during a ceremony on Ellis Island. The medal is presented by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), the largest representative of ethnic and heritage organizations in the United States.

 The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was created in 1986 to honor the many ancestral groups that helped build America. Six presidents, many senators, Congressional Representatives and Nobel Prize winners are among the remarkable group of individuals who have received the Medal of Honor for their contributions to the nation.

 Criteria for the award includes living a life dedicated to the American way while preserving the values of a particular heritage group.

 Kampiziones was born in Lamia, Greece, in 1931, where he grew up and graduated magna cum laude and first in his class from the Paidagological Academy with a B.A. degree in education. He was drafted in 1954 and after graduating with honors and first in his class at the Military School for Officers, he served his country as a second lieutenant until 1956.

 In 1956, he married Eula Hondros, and they moved to Florence, S.C., in 1957. Later that year they moved to New York City, where both were employed at the Atlantic Bank of New York while attending college at night. Kampiziones earned his second degree from Queens College of the City University of New York, a B.A. in economics, in 1963. Aging parents brought the couple back to Florence, where Kampiziones became successfully involved in the restaurant business and active in church and community activities.

 He serves his church as a cantor, member of the choir, Sunday School teacher and Greek School teacher. He has served as chairman of the Historical Commission appointed by the governor, chairman of the Florence Symphony Board, the Florence Museum Board, the Florence Heritage Foundation Board, member of the McLeod Medical Center Foundation Board, member of the fund-raising committees of the Florence Habitat for Humanity Organization, the YMCA, the Salvation Army, charter member of the Committee for Housing for the Mentally Ill, board member of the Boys Club of America, and charter member of the Downtown Revitalization Committee for Florence.

On the national level, Kampiziones is a member of the AHEPA, board member of the Evrytanian Association of America, and member of the League of Greek Orthodox Stewards, having served in leadership capacities with all three groups.

 His business interests have included the creation of the Fairfax Development Corp. and his part as an organizer and charter member of the First Reliance Bank. He sold his interest in the Flamingo Restaurant in 1983 and earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of South Carolina. For the past 15 years, he has been teaching at both Francis Marion and Florence-Darlington Technical College.

 He has received numerous awards, including the Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Americanism Medal from the National Organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Jack Baker Award of the Florence Area Arts Council, and the Order of the Palmetto.

 #161 / 5-2-02

Last Published: April 6, 2004 11:02 AM
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