BOSTON. Prominent Greek – American businessman George Marcus from California donated another $2.0 million towards the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Nave and National Shrine at the World Trade Center of Manhattan. Mr. Marcus had already donated $1.0 million a few years ago; with this additional $2.0 million donation, his total contribution to St. Nicholas amounts to $3.0 million.
In a letter to Mr. Dennis Mehiel Chairman of the Organization “The Friends of St. Nicholas” dated February 3, 2020 Mr. Marcus wrote the following:
“Mr. Dennis Mehiel Chairman
Friends of St. Nicholas at the World Trade Center 8 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075
You did an excellent job chairing today’s Friends of St. Nicholas Board call! As I mentioned briefly, my schedule is such that I will not be able to devote the time to be on the Friends of St. Nicholas Board. I would be happy to assist in any way 1 can and am pleased to enclose the $2,000,000 commitment that I made on the call today.
The Orthodox community will be eternally indebted to you, Father Alex and Michel Psaros for taking the leadership role in the construction of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
George M. Marcus
CC: Father Alex Karloutsos, Vicar General Michael Psaros, Vice Chairman.”
It is noted here that this sizeable $2.0 million donation to St. Nicholas by leading member of our Omogeneia is actually another vote of confidence in the leadership of His Eminence Elpidophoros of America and the Friends of St Nicholas, led by Mike Psaros and Dennis Mehiel.
The “Friends of St. Nicholas” launched on January 2, 2020 and to date The Friends has received approximately $21 million of cash and pledges. As Psaros and Mehiel said in their exclusive and extensive interview to The National Herald it its last week’s edition the Friends of St. Nicholas has released $5.7 million of cash payments to the subcontractor responsible for the exterior curtain wall.
Construction work has started at its fabrication facility in Minnesota.
The total cash cost to finish the Church is $42 million if construction is not interrupted and continues as planned. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros has announced that St. Nicholas Church will be finished by September 11, 2021.
Business Leader and Philanthropist George M. Marcus was born George Mathew Moutsanas in 1941 in Limni on the island of Evia in Greece and immigrated to the United States in 1945. He attended San Francisco State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. His alma mater named him Alumnus of the Millennium in 1999 and awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011. The extraordinary business accomplishments of George Marcus include his founding of G. M. Marcus & Company in 1971, which later became Marcus and Millichap Company, the parent organization of a diversified group of real estate service, investment and development firms as well as his founding of Essex Property Trust, Greater Bay Bancorp, and Plaza Bank of Commerce. He also owns two renowned Greek restaurants: Kokkari (San Francisco) and Evvia (Palo Alto). George Marcus’ extensive commitments to the Greek Orthodox Church and the community are reflected in his membership on the Board of Directors of the: Modern Greek Studies Foundation, CSU Foundation, UCSF Foundation, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Elios Society of Northern California. He founded and served as Chairman of the National Hellenic Society, serves on the Advisory Board of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation and the Taube Foundation, and has generously supported Leadership 100, the President’s Council of United Religions Initiative and The Hellenic Initiative.
George Marcus has received numerous awards, including: American Hellenic Institute Spirit of Freedom Entrepreneurial Award; Hellenic American Professional Society of California Axion Award; Ellis Island Medal of Honor; Patriarch Athenagoras I Humanitarian Award; Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, Theofanis Economidis Award. In 2016, he received an Honorary Degree of Humanities from the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
It is worth noting that on June 27 the American School of Classical Studies at Athens awarded George Marcus an Honorary Doctorate as well at a fine ceremony.