July 24, 2023


The ninety-day $1 million challenge grant issued by Helen A. Carlos, exemplary Trustee of Hellenic College Holy Cross (HCHC), has greatly exceeded its goal, raising over $2.3 million dollars in total gifts. 

Helen’s intention was to inspire others to take an active interest in providing HCHC with the necessary working capital to advance its strategic initiatives of boosting enrollment, ensuring academic excellence, and enhancing spiritual growth. Donors from across America followed Helen’s lead and multiplied her generosity by contributing over $1.3 million. About a thousand people and several Greek Orthodox parishes from across America responded to the Carlos challenge grant with gifts ranging from $5 to $150,000.

“I was so pleased that so many faithful Orthodox Christians gave generously in response to my challenge grant. I offered this gift in honor and memory of my beloved parents, Andrew and Eula Carlos, whose love and dedication to faith and family inspires me to do the same,” said Helen.

She added “My reason for being a passionate advocate for HCHC is very simple. If we expect our Church not only to survive but to thrive, [then] we need to do much more to support our one and only Greek Orthodox seminary, graduate school of theology, and college…This is where our future priests, youth directors, scholars, pastoral counselors, and church musicians are inspired, educated, and equipped to meet the growing needs of our families and parishes…This School requires ample funding to recruit more and more exemplary students and professors and to give them the educational experience, tools, and facilities they need.”

HCHC has celebrated several major successes recently. In March, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) continued its full accreditation of HCHC following its ten-year comprehensive evaluation. Among other things, the NECHE report pointed to a significant increase in donor contributions to the school in recent years that has been a critically important aid in boosting enrollment (up 20% year over year), reducing debt from about $20 million to under $5 million, and facilitating three consecutive years of income exceeding expenses.

HCHC President George M. Cantonis stated, “I can only reiterate–with even deeper appreciation–what I said at the time the challenge grant was announced: Helen Carlos is an inspiration to everyone who cares about the future of our School and, by extension, the future of our Church. The fact that so many rose to the challenge she created is tangible proof of her power to galvanize the faithful into action. We are immeasurably blessed to have her support.”

Fr. James Katinas, HCHC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, worked closely with President Cantonis, Helen Carlos, and others to orchestrate the School’s intensive ninety-day fundraising campaign. Reflecting on the success of that enormous effort, Fr. Katinas stated, “There’s no “I” in development. This campaign was a success due to the team of George Cantonis, Helen Carlos, HCHC Trustees, development staff, alumni, and volunteers in the field. I am truly grateful to God that my years in development for HCHC have coincided with those of Helen’s leadership as a Trustee. Helen is one of the most dedicated, prayerful, humble, loving, and generous persons I have ever had the blessing to work with. While HCHC needs to grow its enrollment and endowment significantly to be viable over the long-term, Helen’s latest act of extraordinary generosity has yet again served as the catalyst to sustain and advance Hellenic College Holy Cross in the present.”