The U.S. State Department’s Bea Cameron Pays Tribute to Stefanos Gialamas at NESA’s FLC
Dr Bea Cameron, NESA's Regional Education Officer from the U.S. State Department, spoke at NESA's 2019 Fall Leadership Conference about the legacy of Dr Stefanos Gialamas, President of ACS Athens, Greece, who passed away a few days before the FLC in mid-October.
October 24, 2019 – Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok, Thailand
Today we are remembering and honoring Stefanos Gialamas, who not only was an agent of change but also believed in human potential. Stefanos was a force and a character. He became the head of ACS Athens from a path different from most heads. He had a classical Greek education, a PhD in Mathematics, and wrote a dissertation on Knot Theory. He gave me his book on Knot Theory; you can just imagine the cover with him on it.
He taught Mathematics at the University of Kansas — from Athens to Middle America — and eventually found his way to Chicago to be an administrator at the Illinois Institute of Technology. And from there, after 22 years in the U.S., he returned to Greece to head ACS.
Stefanos called himself “President” of ACS; he brought with him innovative ideas for connecting K-12 to higher education. He wanted to raise the academic aspirations of the students and the academic quality of ACS.
And while there was plenty of ego -- there was also plenty of heart. He was generous with his ideas, big with his plans, but gentle and warm in his touch. He supported everyone’s human potential always. I believed Stefanos aspired to be a college president, maybe in the States. But in the last five years when questioned, he’d say with his hands towards the sky, “Why would I want to leave this?” — the sun, the blue sky and home.
So today we remember Stefanos as he returns home, to the sun and blue sky of Greece.