More than 250 people gathered at the Plaza in Manhattan for St. Francis College's 48th Annual Charter Award Dinner, which honored John A. Catsimatidis, the Chairman & CEO of Red Apple Group. The event, which took place on April 28th, raised over $400,000 to support scholarships for St. Francis students.
Mr. Catsimatidis, who also received an honorary doctorate from St. Francis College, gave an inspiring account of his life story, which epitomizes the American dream. A native of Greece who immigrated to West Harlem as an infant, he grew up as a "small fry with big dreams." Armed with a tireless work ethic, Catsimatidis rose from his humble beginnings to oversee an empire that includes holdings in the grocery, oil refining and aviation businesses that employ over 8,000 people and exceed $4 billion in annual revenues.
Mr. Catsimatidis also embodies the College's Franciscan values of service to community. He has been a major supporter of Outward Bound and research on Juvenile Diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. He has also championed religious freedom worldwide.
"Considering his remarkable achievements and dedication to make our world a better place, St. Francis College was truly delighted to have the opportunity to bestow the Charter Award on John Catsimatidis," said Brendan J. Dugan '68, president of St. Francis College. "It is also poignant that in doing so we were able to raise money for scholarships for our students, most of whom grew up in circumstances similar to Catsimatidis' and share his drive to succeed."
In addition to his participation in this year's successful Charter Award Dinner, Mr. Catsimatidis also established a scholarship fund at St. Francis that will help future students achieve their dream of earning a college degree. The scholarship fund will be named in honor of the Catsimatidis family.
Photos: (From L-R) John Catsimatidis (Honoree, Red Apple Group Chairman & CEO), John F. Tully (SFC Board of Trustees Chairman), Brendan J. Dugan (SFC President)
Brendan Dugan addressing crowd
St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201