City University of London confers a posthumous PhD on Stelios Papadimitriou

A group of people close to the late Stelios Papadimitriou attended a moving ceremony held by City University of London for the honorary president of the Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation on January 16. Placed on an empty armchair among the academics was the mortar board that Papadimitriou was to have worn when the university decided 14 months ago to award him a doctorate «for his contribution to humanity, culture and the business world.» Papadimitriou’s widow Alexandra was present, seated in the front row with the deceased’s close friend and colleague Pavlos Ioannidis. «The honorary doctorate was conferred on Stelios Papadimitriou,» said Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Costas Grammenos in his address, «because the deceased served the law with dignity and self-denial, and succeeded in combining entrepreneurial talent with making a contribution to humanity, culture and education.» The official speaker was Papadimitriou’s elder son Antonis, now president of the Onassis Foundation. He spoke of how his father, then a lawyer of 24, was employed in his native city of Alexandria by Alexandros Onassis and stayed on, after Onassis’s death in 1975, to establish and build up the foundation which Onassis provided for in his will. Thanks to the foundation, thousands of young Greeks have studied on scholarships, while thousands of people have been treated at the Onassis Cardiology Center.

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