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Gift of giving overcoming challenges faced by a pandemic

This image shows a student walking through a colonnade

The State Trustees Australia Foundation (the Foundation) is dedicated to facilitating charitable giving and preserving the legacies of those who have left a perpetual gift. The late Anastassios Vassilogianis is one such person, who during his lifetime wrote a will with State Trustees and left his estate to the Foundation. This very generous gift established a sub-fund in his name under the Foundation, promoting Hellenic studies and research for the benefit of Greek students at La Trobe University.

The initial gift from Mr Vassilogianis was valued at over $1.1 million in 2013. In only 8 years the Anastassios Vassilogianis sub-fund has grown to over $1.4 million, has already distributed over $400,000 to La Trobe University, and will continue to provide an annual distribution every year in perpetuity.

Initially, La Trobe University used the funding to establish the Vassilogianis Awards for Excellence in Greek Studies, and to pay part of employee salaries assisting the former Coordinator with subjects offered by the program. 2018 saw a change to the structure of the grant following the appointment of the new Greek Studies Coordinator; and in conjunction with the Head of Department of Languages and Linguistics, new developments were underway at the university.

Since then, La Trobe University has successfully initiated a promotional campaign of the tertiary program in Victoria, refreshed the curriculum, produced a podcast, piloted their first overseas study tour and hosted an international scholar and an inspiring local poet. As a result of the restructure, their language student enrolment percentage has increase by 44%.

La Trobe University understands the significance of charitable giving and is thankful for the ongoing support from the Anastassios Vassilogianis sub-fund. This support was especially critical throughout 2020 with the impact of COVID-19 when La Trobe University was faced with the uncertainties regarding the discontinuation of several programs, including Greek Studies, due to financial difficulties across the board. Thankfully, the annual support provided by the Anastassios Vassilogianis sub-fund has meant that La Trobe University was able to grant a three-year extension to the Greek Studies program.

As you have seen from Mr Vassilogianis’ generosity, leaving a gift to the State Trustees Australia Foundation can make a huge difference to the community, thanks to the gift of perpetuity.  If you would like to learn more about charitable giving or philanthropy, please call us on (03) 9667 6740 or email charitable@statetrustees.com.au.

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