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George "Moose" Markris, BA'48, has been on the Northeastern athletics scene for more than fifty years — as a student-athlete, an employee, a parent, and a generous donor. Here, Makris is pictured as a student and, more recently, with his son William, MBA'83.

NU Sports Legend Creates Family Legacy

If you've ever stopped by the Makris Varsity Club after a hockey game, attended the Fight to Educate, or participated in other athletic activities, chances are you know George "Moose" Makris, BA'48.

"When I was offered a football scholarship in the 1940's, I jumped at the chance to come to Northeastern. That support meant a lot to me, and today there is not much that I wouldn't do for NU."

Makris has been a mainstay of Northeastern athletics since his days as a football lineman, baseball outfielder, and hockey goalie. He was captain of the 1947 football team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

"When I was offered a football scholarship in the 1940's, I jumped at the chance to come to Northeastern," says Makris, whose father left Greece for America at age eleven. "That support meant a lot to me, and today there is not much that I wouldn't do for NU."

After graduation, Makris began a twenty-two-year career with Electrolux, where he excelled in sales and quickly rose through the ranks to become a division manager supervising more than 300 employees. He retired from Electrolux in 1970.

In 1977, Makris returned to Northeastern to become its first director of athletic development, encouraging alumni and friends to invest in talented student-athletes and raising millions in the process. "After selling vacuums for two decades, I was thrilled to be back on Huntington Avenue," he recalls. However, Makris is more than an NU sports icon and employee. He is also a generous donor, as are his town sons — Phillip, MS'81, and William, MBA'83.

Makris and his wife, Helen, have given more than $130,000 for athletic facilities and scholarships, including a recent commitment of $50,000. His sons have committed $25,000 each to the George and Helen Makris Football Scholarship, earning them membership in the Huntington Society, which recognizes generous donors.

Even Makris's one-hundred-year-old mother-in-law, Penio Culolias, has gotten into the act, supporting Northeastern with an endowed scholarship.

"My father got the nickname 'Moose' in high school because he was big and strong. His generosity can be described in the same way," says William, who works in communications at Babson College.

"Both my brother and I are honored to secure the legacy of the Makris name at Northeastern," adds Philip, who is chief financial officer for LessonLab, an educational technology firm in Santa Monica, California.

Today, Makris works part-time in athletic development, arriving at his Richards Hall office by 6:30 a.m. and loving the challenges of the day. When asked about retirement, he replies "That is for older people." Makris turns eighty-four in July.

 

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  This article appeared in the November 2003 issue of The Leadership Campaign Update.          

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