Wilkes

The Online Edition

Giving Back -Fall 2017

Eugene Pappas ’72 Leaves a Legacy

When Eugene Pappas ’72 arrived on the Wilkes campus in 1968, he was a first-generation college student with a scholarship award and a dream. Gene passed away in May 2016 and left behind many loving family members and friends, as well as his impeccable collection of personal records.

“He had records from the ’60s, including paystubs, and even his original scholarship letter from Wilkes in 1968,” says Nicholas Pappas, Gene’s brother. Seeing the letter made an impression. “Had he not received the scholarship, he probably would not have gone to Wilkes. I don’t think he would have had the same path.”

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During his career, the late Eugene Pappas ’72 frequently worked in Paris. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Pappas)

Gene, a family-oriented, hard-working man, always believed in giving back and he greatly appreciated that path that led him to a fulfilling education at Wilkes. To create a legacy for Gene, Nick established an endowed scholarship so that students can benefit from Gene’s generosity for years to come. The scholarship recipient will be an undergraduate student who demonstrates academic ability, good character and financial need. One student will receive the scholarship each year, with the first awardee in the 2019-2020 academic year.

While at Wilkes, Gene worked at the Osterhout Library. After graduation, he was hired full-time, but then had the opportunity receive his master’s degree from the Pratt Institute in New York City, NY.

While he was in graduate school, he took a part-time position at McKinsey & Co, a global management consulting firm in New York City. He worked his way up through the company, spending more than 30 years of his professional career there as a banking consultant and senior partner in New York and Paris. When he passed away, he was semi-retired and still working for McKinsey & Co. as a senior advisor.

“He was on-the-go a lot. He was a frequent flyer on the Concorde for business purposes,” says Nick. “He was able to maintain residency in the Wyoming Valley area and Paris.”

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The late Eugene Pappas ’72, pictured far right, worked on a project that involved working with former New York Gov. Elliott Spitzer, fourth from left, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, fifth from left and Sen. Chuck Schumer, third from right.

His career afforded him many opportunities, including working on a study produced by McKinsey & Co. for New York City. The project enabled him to meet luminaries such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Gene’s generosity lives on through his scholarship at Wilkes. “A scholarship just seemed to be the best long-term investment,” says Nick. Although he considered other options to create a legacy for his brother, Wilkes seemed the best choice. “The impact would not have been as direct as it is at Wilkes. He’s helping someone to get the same start he had.”

Establish An Endowed Scholarship:
The benefits to endowed scholarships are endless. With your donation, students at Wilkes will benefit from your generosity in perpetuity. At Wilkes, endowed scholarships require a minimum gift of $50,000. For more information, or to begin an endowed scholarship or to begin an endowed scholarship of your own, contact Margaret Steele at (570)408-4302 or Margaret.steele@wilkes.edu.