George Marcus Honored at Deree Commencement Ceremony

George Marcus awarded Honorary Doctorate at Deree Commencement.

George M. Marcus, the distinguished business leader and philanthropist who founded GM Marcus & Company in 1971, which later became Marcus and Millichap Company, as well as Essex Property Trust, Greater Bay Bancorp and Plaza Bank of Commerce, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Deree of the American College of Greece (ACG), at its commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Marcus is a longtime member of Leadership 100, having served for may years on its Executive Committee and Board of Trustees. The American College of Greece is also a member of Leadership 100.

Upon receiving his honorary title, Dr. Marcus emphasized that striving for excellence is the one ingredient necessary for success and reminded the graduating class that, even in difficult times, there is always an opportunity waiting to be discovered and seized. “There is one ingredient that is necessary for success and that is striving for excellence. Both Confucius and Aristotle, in their own way said: ‘Excellence is a habit; it is what we repeatedly do that sets us apart.’ It helps if you love what you do. So, for you to succeed in whatever endeavor you pursue, you must take that to heart and be the best that there is in the field. Best of luck to all of you and don’t forget to give back,” he said.

Deree Commencement, the biggest event on the ACG calendar and a milestone in every graduating senior’s life, was attended by almost 3,000 guests who came together at the ACG Stadium where 350 graduating students were applauded for their years of hard work, perseverance, and determination as they received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece, welcomed the graduates, along with the Board of Trustees, ACG faculty and staff, and the families and friends of the graduates. The President went on to introduce the Ambassador of the United States Embassy in Greece,  Geoffrey R. Pyatt,   before conferring Marcus with the honors.

President Horner delivered the closing Charge to the newly minted graduates who entered the 56,000-strong ACG global alumni community!

George M. Marcus was born George Mathew Moutsanas in 1941 in Limni on the island of Evia in Greece and immigrated to the United States in 1945. He attended San Francisco State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. His alma mater named him Alumnus of the Millennium in 1999 and awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2011.

 Marcus also owns two renowned Greek restaurants: Kokkari (San Francisco) and Evvia (Palo Alto). His extensive commitments to the Greek Orthodox Church and the community are reflected in his membership on the Board of Directors of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, CSU Foundation, UCSF Foundation, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Elios Society of Northern California. He founded and served as Chairman of the National Hellenic Society, serves on the Advisory Board of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation and the Taube Foundation, and has generously supported the President’s Council of United Religions Initiative and The Hellenic Initiative.

Marcus has received numerous awards, including American Hellenic Institute Spirit of Freedom Entrepreneurial Award; Hellenic American Professional Society of California Axion Award; Ellis Island Medal of Honor; Patriarch Athenagoras I Humanitarian Award; Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, Theofanis Economidis Award.

 In 2016, he received an Honorary Degree of Humanities from the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and just two days prior, on June 27, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens awarded him an Honorary Doctorate.

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