Nicholas Gage, Keynote Speaker at Commencement 2019

Athens College had the great honor of welcoming Greek-American author and journalist, Nichals Gage (Nikolas Gatzoyiannis), as the keynote speaker at the 90th Annual Commencement Exercises 2019.

Mr. Gage spoke about the value of knowledge and the ideals he considers as the most important: that of freedom, and the most important of all, love, drawing examples from his personal journey and experiences.  He urged the graduations to “travel,” to seek their personal “adventures” and not to succumb to fear.


World-renowned for his award-winning book “Eleni,” Nicholas Gage was born in 1939, in the village of Lia, Thesprotia. In 1949, during Greece’s Civil War, he escaped to the United States where he has since lived.


He earned his undergraduate degree on a scholarship from Boston University’s School of Public Communication and in 1964 earned his Master’s Degree from Columbia University in New York City. 

Nicholas Gage’s career began as an investigative reporter for the Associated Press, as well as The Boston Herald Traveller, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.  He was the first journalist to have access to the President R. Nixon’s recorded conversations about the Watergate scandal and instrumental in exposing Vice President S. Agnew’s involvement in corruption, which ultimately led to Agnew’s resignation.


He has written books on organized crime, drug trafficking and political corruption.  The best-selling “Eleni” is about his mother who was executed during the Greek Civil War by the Communist guerillas of the “Democratic Army.”  It has been translated into 32 languages and it received first prize by the Royal Society of Literature of Great Britain.  The book was also successfully made into a feature film.


Additionally, Nicholas Gage was co-producer of the highly lucrative film “Godfather 3,” which in 1994 was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Motion Picture.