Dr. George J. Marcopoulos ’53

Dr. George J. Marcopoulos ’53 died on January 7, 2012, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

He was born in Salem, Mass., on June 30, 1931, and graduated from Salem High School. At Bowdoin, he was a James Bowdoin Scholar, a dean’s list student, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was awarded the Sewall Greek Prize and graduated magna cum laude. He went on to earn a master’s degree in international affairs in 1955 and a doctorate in history in 1966, both at Harvard University. He served to first lieutenant in the Army Reserves, and joined the faculty of Tufts University in 1961, where he remained until his retirement in 2006. His expertise was in the Byzantine Empire, Southeastern Europe, European royalty, and foreign affairs. His articles on European diplomatic history were published in Balkans Studies, and he co-authored a groundbreaking essay in 1986 on “Women and World History” in The History Teacher. Every year from 1966 to 2001, he wrote articles on Greece and Cyprus for The Americana Annual. He was invited to lecture on Greek and Byzantium history at conferences sponsored by the United Nations, the Fletcher School, and the Greek Institute in Cambridge. From 1963 to 2006 he served on the executive board of the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Tufts, serving as president from 1979 to 1981. For many years he served on the board of directors of the Gerondelis Foundation, which grants fellowships to Greek and Greek-American graduate students. Until his retirement, he also oversaw the George A. David Fellowship at Tufts, which provides support for Tufts undergraduates to spend a semester in Greece at the College Year in Athens program. In addition to his work with undergraduates, he mentored numerous graduate students, many of whom went on to become college professors themselves. He served on the dissertation committee of Kostas Karamanlis, who became the Prime Minister of Greece. In recognition of his outstanding work as a teacher and advisor, he twice received the Seymour O. Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising at Tufts. In retirement, he continued to speak on European monarchies at the Brookhaven retirement community in Lexington.

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