Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2018

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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Page 41 of 47

SPOTLIGHT 40 PIERCE FALL / WINTER 2018 Z achary Gianaris '89 values the sense of family and friendship he experienced at Franklin Pierce. "Franklin Pierce is a place where people know you by name," he said. That's why he established the Gianaris Family Scholarship Fund, which will support students from Worcester County, Mass., wishing to attend the College of Business at Franklin Pierce. Gianaris facilitated the gift of $110,000 to establish the endowed fund. e Gianaris family history is a classic American immigrant story. Gianaris' maternal grandparents were from a small village in Yugoslavia. During World War II, his grandfather, Alki, was conscripted to provide produce from local farms to feed invading German soldiers and tried to help nearby farmers hide enough food to survive the winter themselves. When it got too dangerous, he organized a group to emigrate and eventually landed with his wife, Katina, in Worcester County, where he started a fruit wholesale business. Gianaris' paternal grandparents, George and Agnes, came from Tsounis, Greece, settling in New Britain, Conn., in 1918 to open a diner. Gianaris' mother, Barbara, a schoolteacher, would frequent that diner, and at his grandfather George's urging , his son, Zachary (senior), finally found the courage to ask her out. Gianaris worked in his grandfather's fruit business alongside three generations of family members and giving back to the community became a family tradition. Business had grown from one pushcart to 15 trucks. Gianaris recalls stories of his grandfather freely supplying food to his neighbors in the wake of a massive flood in Worcester County in 1955. All four of Gianaris' grandparents prioritized hard work and education. Both grandmothers worked along side their husbands in the family businesses to be able to educate all their children and grandchildren. Gianaris attended Worcester Academy for two years, graduated from Bartlett High School in Webster and earned his associate degree from Dean College. He graduated from Franklin Pierce College with a bachelor's degree in business in 1989. When his paternal grandmother, Agnes Gianaris, died recently at the age of 102, Gianaris approached his father about establishing a scholarship fund. He felt the Gianaris Family Scholarship was a perfect way to honor her memory and strong belief in education. Gianaris also shares her commitment to family and community. He is currently the primary caretaker for his own parents, both of whom require full-time, long-term aid. "His generosity is no surprise," said classmate and friend Judie Newsome '89. "Zack is a great guy and would give you the shirt off his back." "Zachary Gianaris is a wonderful example of the lifelong connection students, faculty and staff make with one another as part of our close-knit community," noted President Kim Mooney '83. " We are deeply grateful for the family's commitment to help make our excellent business education accessible to Franklin Pierce students from communities near Worcester." — Julie Rizzo Gianaris Establishes Scholarship Franklin Pierce is a place where people know you by name. — ZACHARY GIANARIS '89 Gift Honors His Grandparents President Mooney with Zachary Gianaris '89 ANDREW CUNNINGHAM SPOTLIGHT

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