URI confers honorary degrees on Cranston couple
PROVIDENCE, RI -- April 24, 2000 -- As children of immigrant parents,
Rhode Island natives Anna and Gregory Demetrakas of Cranston know
first-hand how families can struggle. Thanks to their generosity of time,
talent, and money, the couple has transformed the lessons of childhood hardships
into new possibilities for others.
In recognition of their caring spirit and lasting contributions to the
University of Rhode Island, the state, and to charities worldwide, this
month URI conferred upon each of them an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane
Gregory is an accomplished entrepreneur and chief executive officer or
general partner of five different Rhode Island companies: De-Mal Associates
Inc., Cemet Holding Co., Zeus Realty, Hermes Investment Corp., and Apollo
Anna, a 1995 graduate of URI's Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing
Education (Feinstein-CCE), is both an active member of the College's Community
Advisory Board and its Alumni Association.
Inspired by Anna's experiences at Feinstein-CCE, the pair has made significant
contributions to the University, both as a couple and individually. Together,
they established an endowment in their names and continue to support the
Walter Crocker Scholarship Fund, which Anna helped to establish.
Beyond URI's Providence campus, the Demetrakases have touched many lives
through their generosity. They constructed a medical building in Papados,
on the Greek island of Lesvos in honor of Gregory's parents and have provided
the Greek village with an ambulance and medical equipment and supplies.
They have shipped medical supplies, food, and other materials to Russia,
Africa, Greece, Armenia, and Romania, and regularly ship such supplies to
mission centers in these and other countries.
They have been recognized individually and together for their volunteer
participation in numerous non-profit organizations in Rhode Island including
the Bradley and Hasbro children's hospitals, McCauley House, Dorcas Place
Literacy Committee, and the Greek Orthodox Church of Rhode Island. Their
support to these and other Rhode Island and worldwide charities led to such
recognition as "Partners in Philanthropy" by the National Society
of Fundraising Executives, a citation by the Government of Cyprus, and the
Diocese Laity Award from the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Boston.
For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116