Brief History of
AHEPA and Delphi Chapter #25
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association ("AHEPA") is the largest and oldest American based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization. Its scope is international with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Europe, and “sister” chapters in Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of AHEPA Australasia. AHEPA was founded on
July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society.
Today, AHEPA brings the ideals of ancient Greece, which include philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, family, and individual excellence, to the community. Although the majority of AHEPA’s membership is comprised of Americans of Greek descent, membership is open to anyone who believes in the mission of the organization and considers themselves Phil-Hellenes (those of non-Greek descent but friends of Greece).
AHEPA’s Delphi Chapter #25 was founded in 1923 in Manhattan NYC, it was the first Chapter in New York State and one of the first in the Northeast. The Delphi Chapter # 25 was instrumental in welcoming the early Greek immigrants to the USA as they disembarked at Ellis Island and helping them with their assimilation into the American culture by assisting them with learning the English language, finding employment and eventually becoming citizens of the United States.
The Delphi Chapter # 25 has had many notable and prominent members in its history, including many Phil-Hellenes who embraced AHEPA’s ideals and values. In 1924 Seraphim G. Canoutas joined Delphi Chapter # 25 he was at the time the most notable historian and the primary source for the 1880 to 1920 wave of Greek immigrants.
Some of the many notable members that followed in Delphi’s rich history were Past Chapter Presidents and later Past Supreme Presidents of AHEPA Dean Alfange and Dr. Kimon Doukas. On March 11,1931 the then New York State Governor (and later to become President of the United States) Franklin D. Roosevelt became a member of the Order of AHEPA and joined the Delphi Chapter # 25 in New York City. On December 18, 953 a young attorney starting out his career in private practice and later to become a prominent Federal Judge in the U.S. District Court of International Trade, Nicholas Tsoucalas, was initiated into Chapter # 25 of The Order of AHEPA; he would eventually serve as President of the Chapter and continue on as Life member. In1954 then U.S. Senator Irving M. Ives of New York also became an AHEPAn with his membership in Chapter # 25 followed in 1955 by New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. Cox. Other notable past Presidents of Delphi Chapter # 25 included the former Chief Council to the NYS Athletic Commission, and former council to NYS Gov. Nelson Rockefeller as well as Past Supreme Council to AHEPA, James Fusscas. *
Currently the AHEPA Delphi Chapter # 25 is one of the most vibrant Chapters of The Order of AHEPA ; following a dynamic revitalization this AHEPA Chapter, based in Manhattan, has grown to be the largest Chapter in the entire global AHEPA domain. It vibrantly continues on today in the tradition of AHEPA’s ideals and values of promoting Education and Hellenism through many efforts of public service and philanthropy.
* Historical Information is from the book: "The Order of AHEPA 1922-1972",
authored by George J. Leber, 1972.