College History

Athens College was founded in 1925 by a group of enlightened Greeks (with Emmanuel Benakis and Stephanos Delta trailblazing the way) as well as with the support of American philhellenes, including that of Bert Hodge, Director of the American School of Classical Studies.

The Founders’ vision, which was translated into reality from the onset of the College’s existence, revolved around the creation of a school which fostered the “harmonious development of students’ intellectual, ethical and physical capabilities, in particular their character” by enhancing the existing educational system “with modern pedagogical methods adapted to Greece’s history, traditions, essence, and national needs.”

Psychico College, its sister school, was founded in 1980 under the same guiding principles and the same educational philosophy as Athens College.  Both Schools belong to the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization, with campuses in Psychico (housing the Junior High and High Schools as well as the International Baccalaureate Program) and in Kantza (housing the two Elementary Schools: Bodossakeio and Latseio). 

When it first opened, in October 1925, Athens College occupied a rented building at 18 Androu Street in the heart of Athens.  The School moved to Psychico in 1929.  That year, Benaki Hall was dedicated by Eleftherios Venizelos, then Prime Minister of Greece and an ardent supporter of the School.  In his speech during the dedication ceremony, Venizelos made some memorable remarks: 

“. . . Private schools are where the greatest and most successful innovations may flourish: loosely supervised by the State and complying with broad State guidelines, private schools enjoy the freedom which public schools lack and, therefore, may achieve great progress.  This is the kind of progress we expect Athens College to achieve. This, in my judgment, is the significance of the College.” 

From its inception, the College has lived up to the expectations of Eleftherios Venizelos and its visionary founders by fully preparing its students to successfully meet the requirements of higher education and the demands of their careers (both in Greece and abroad), as well as by developing its uniqueness, its distinct pedagogical character, its philosophy and its mission.

Two of the College’s hallmark features are:

  • The implementation of a curriculum which, according to the College’s founding principles and its creators’ objectives, aims at offering not simply a body of knowledge but, rather, a multifaceted and comprehensive education which molds young people into well-integrated members of society and active citizens, with a sense not only of professional but also of social responsibilities.
  • The School’s extensive Scholarship Program.


Further information on the College’s history is detailed in the following books:

  • Homer Davis: "The Story of Athens College: The First Thirty-Five Years "
  • Dimitris Karamanos: "Athens College, 1925-2000: Turning Points and Milestones" (in Greek)

Extensive references specific to the College’s cultural and artistic traditions and its contribution in this realm are covered in "Soul Nurturing – Enjoyment of Life: The Cultural and Artistic Tradition and Contribution of Athens College from the Time of Karolos Koun and Minos Dounias through the Present." (in Greek)