By Abby Weingarten
Honored for his commitment and “transformative service” to New College of Florida, longtime trustee George Skestos received an official resolution from the College’s president, Donal O’Shea, on Tues. Feb. 25.
Inside a laboratory at the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex on campus, O’Shea read Resolution No. 20-01 to Skestos, which detailed his numerous contributions to the College since his appointment to the Board of Trustees on June 21, 2012. Tina Skestos, George’s wife, and New College physics professor Mariana Sendova, Ph.D., listened and applauded.
“George’s curiosity about the world we humans inhabit is matched only by his extraordinary kindness,” O’Shea said. “George has won the respect, admiration and friendship of professors, staff, students and fellow trustees alike.”
O’Shea added that George Skestos’ interest in history, art, philosophy, language and science has led him to take more courses at New College than any trustee who is not a student or alumnus.
A lifelong learner, Skestos is a former lawyer and real estate developer who hails from Michigan and lives on Longboat Key. He holds a bachelor’s degree, a master of business administration degree, a bachelor of laws, and a law degree from the University of Michigan. He is the founder of Homewood Corp. (a residential building company in Ohio), was an Ohio State University trustee for nine years, and served as chairman of the University East Hospital Board. His philanthropic motto is “Give ‘til it hurts and then give more.”
Naturally, George Skestos was drawn to New College’s distinctive mission as Florida’s residential honors college.
“George has advocated fearlessly and unstintingly for New College, helping steer us through troubled times in which the value of higher education has been questioned throughout the state and the nation,” O’Shea said. “George’s intellectual curiosity, advocacy and generosity are exceeded only by his wisdom, kindness, and his love for Tina and his family.”
After the reading of the resolution, Skestos and his wife were treated to a presentation in Sendova’s classroom by three physics students who shared their current research. The Skestos’ listened inquisitively, asking questions about nanotechnology, metrology and black holes.
“None of this would have been possible without him,” Sendova said, noting Skestos’ tremendous dedication to the funding of science programs at New College.
One of Sendova’s thesis students, Matt Mancini, echoed the sentiment.
“This research is made possible by his funding and grants,” Mancini said. “There’s nothing I could say more about the commitment of the faculty and the programs here. I’m grateful they exist and for everything he has done.”
George Skestos was pleased to see the impact his contributions have made on students, faculty and the College as a whole.
“It’s a very unusual place, New College—an amazing place,” George Skestos said. “There’s nowhere else like it.”
Abby Weingarten is the editor/writer for New College’s Office of Communications & Marketing.