Garrison, NY – One of the oldest institutions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Saint Basil Academy, is preparing to celebrate its 70th year this weekend. The Academy, founded in 1944 by then Archbishop Athenagoras, was part of his lifelong mission and legacy in his ministry. The Archbishop dreamed of establishing an orphanage or children’s home ever since his arrival in the United States in 1931.
The 70th Anniversary Celebration will be held June 21, 2014 from 12pm to 3pm at Saint Basil Academy’s grounds in Garrison, New York. Archbishop Demetrios of America, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, will attend the events. Fr. Constantine Sitaras, Executive Director of the Academy will greet and welcome all guests along with the children and the Board of Trustees led by Mrs. Evellyn Tsiadis, President. Television news correspondent Mike Emanuel, who is the Chief Congressional Correspondent for FOX News will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
Saint Basil Academy was established in 1944 to house orphaned children. It later became a school to educate young Greek women to teach the Greek language in the parish communities of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. As the world is changing, so has the role of Saint Basil Academy.
In 1944, the church purchased the 400-acre Jacob Ruppert estate, on the shores of the Hudson River, overlooking West Point Academy for only $55,000. It was an era when many large estates were put on the market because of the ever-increasing property taxes. In 1976, a parcel of land encompassing 250 acres (primarily marshland) was sold to the Audobon Society.
The Academy was named for Saint Basil, who was the founder of many orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the elderly in fourth century Caesarea, Asia Minor. He is considered one of the greatest philanthropists of the Church and founder of the modern-day hospital concept.
Over the years, numerous additions and expansions have taken place— a chapel, residential centers, a medical center and many more buildings, all with the support of organizations like the PanArcadian Federation of America and patrons from throughout the United States.
Today it is a safe haven for children within a nurturing and spiritual environment. The Academy is supported by Philoptochos Chapters (the women’s auxiliary of the Archdiocese), individuals and organizations throughout the country support this special institution.
To be present for this special Celebration, please contact Saint Basil Academy at 845.424.3500 or [email protected]