John G. Pappajohn
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation announced on April 20 that Mr. John Pappajohn is the 2017 Paradigm Award Honoree. Pappajohn, a prominent and longtime member of Leadership 100, is a renowned business leader and philanthropist, venture capitalist and entrepreneur, and the founder of Equity Dynamics, Inc. and Pappajohn Capital Resources. The Paradigm Award will be presented at the upcoming Awards Ceremony & Gala on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago. Pappajohn stated, "I am honored to receive this prestigious award, which represents the very best of young Greek American students."
Pappajohn is being recognized not only for his own achievements but because “he represents the importance of education in achieving one's dreams,” according to the announcement. Pappajohn emigrated from Greece with his family when he was just nine months old, and he grew up in Mason City, Iowa. His father passed away when John was only sixteen. After high school, Mr. Pappajohn worked his way through college, and it took him six years to earn his undergraduate degree in business. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1952.
After graduation, Pappajohn became one of the preeminent, national venture capitalists when he founded Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity, and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm in Des Moines, Iowa. Since then, Mr. Pappajohn has been involved in over one hundred start-ups and over fifty IPOs, and has served as a Director in over forty public companies.
Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, also a member of Leadership 100, are passionate philanthropists, and are dedicated to supporting education and the arts. Over the years, they have gifted more than $100 million to various causes, and have been particularly invested in promoting education. The Pappajohns have been integral to the support of business schools, entrepreneurial centers, universities, and scholarship funds across the state of Iowa.
He has also been the recipient of many awards and sat on various boards. For many years, he has been associated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Art, also in D.C.; and the Whitney Museum, in New York City. Pappajohn has also been a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award. The Pappajohns currently live in Des Moines, Iowa. They have a daughter and son-in-law, Ann and R.J. Vassiliou and grandchildren, Nicholas and Alexandra.
The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation is proud to honor John Pappajohn with the 2017 Paradigm Award. His success in business, dedication to philanthropic endeavors, support for educational causes, and great respect for his Greek heritage make him an ideal example and an inspiring role model for our scholarship recipients.