Long-serving Trustee and major benefactor of Anatolia College, George Seymour Bissell, has passed away
With profound sorrow, we announce the passing of long-serving Trustee and major benefactor George S. Bissell at 94 on Friday, October 13, 2023, at his residence in Wellesley, Boston.
George Bissell was a pillar and most beloved member of the Anatolia College community. He wholeheartedly supported our school with generosity and leadership insight, playing a critical role in the educational institution's growth for nearly 60 years.
He was a shining example of initiative, effective leadership, selfless giving, modesty, and ethics, inspiring respect. He became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1965, playing a critical role in the sound management of Anatolia's endowment. Later, he was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees, serving from 1992 until 2007.
During his long tenure, he donated more than $6 million for the construction of capital projects and countless scholarships to students without financial means, giving them the opportunity to study at Anatolia High School or ACT (American College of Thessaloniki).
George was instrumental in the founding of ACT in 1981, and thanks to his large donation, ensured the construction and established an endowment to cover the annual operating expenses of the famous Bissell Library at ACT, which bears his name and is one of the largest academic libraries in Southeast Europe.
In 2022, the new Anatolia Elementary Campus was completed, with a substantial contribution from George, resulting in the naming of the Bissell Wing.
George Bissell was born in 1929 in Ohio, USA, and inherited his family's principles of supporting society and education.
He received his BA from Dartmouth College (1951) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1953) before pursuing a highly successful career in investment management in Boston.
As part of his professional activities, George was a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Investment Management and Research Association (1968 to 1969) and the Corporate Investment Institute (1982 to 1983).
He served as a Trustee of Boston University Hospital for thirty-two years (1965-1997) and was Chairman of the hospital's Investment Committee (1976-2001). In 1988, the Association of Investment Management and Research awarded him a Distinguished Service Award. He was also honored with the Greek Heritage Award (1997) and the National Public Service Award (1997) from the Hellenic American Institute. In 1994, he established the George S. Bissell Charitable Foundation to support educational endeavors. He endowed a faculty chair at Hiram College Chair in honor of his father, Howard Bissell, and one at Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, in honor of his daughter Kenyon "Kennie" Bissell Grogan.
Although not originally from Greece, George Bissell offered unique services to the broader region and dedicated his life to advancing young people and their educational training.
His vision and deep support enabled many young people from all over Greece, regardless of financial means, to have access to innovative educational programs, strengthening Anatolia College's role as a bridge between the educational systems of the United States and Greece.
He was honored in 2004 with the Silver Cross of the Phoenix for his contribution to Greek education by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos. For his contribution to education, research, innovation, and the upgrading of educational structures in Thessaloniki, he received the Silver Medal of Thessaloniki from the Municipality of Thessaloniki in 2017.
All who knew him will deeply feel his loss, including the Anatolia College community.
George's legacy will always illuminate the history of our school and, thankfully, will be continued by his daughter, Kenyon Bissell Grogan, and daughter-in-law, Caroline Bissell, who both serve as Trustees.