Lehman College 2018 Gala Honorees

Joanne Walsh Stavrou and Christopher Stavrou PhotoJoanne Walsh Stavrou (’76) and Christopher Stavrou

The Lehman Medal for Business, Cultural and Civic Leadership

Chris Stavrou grew up in Palisades Park, NJ. He was trained in liberal arts at Rutgers University (BA ’60), and in finance at The Wharton School (WG ’67). In 1978, he founded what became a pioneering hedge fund, Stavrou Partners LP.

Joanne Walsh Stavrou grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Lehman (’76), the first in her immediate family to graduate college. She began her career on Wall Street before moving to Connecticut to raise their two children. Joanne Stavrou volunteered in Greenwich and Stamford Schools and is Co-Vice President of Voter Services for the Greenwich League of Women Voters.

Inspired by the educators Jaime Escalante, Abraham Flexner, and Whitney Tilson, Joanne and Chris Stavrou became involved in many education and arts nonprofits. They founded Books for Schools, which donated encyclopedias and computer networks to 140 New England schools; and Stavrou Travel Bursaries, which equalized UK student airfares for foreign work-study programs. In addition, they support the Sereolipi School for Nomadic Children in Kenya, sponsoring a class through high school. They are especially proud of one of their sponsored students, who attended the University of Nairobi and the University of Durham in England for graduate work; she is now a rising junior executive in Kenya.

Chris Stavrou received the Arthur M. Sackler Award for his work as a director for the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra. He served as chair of the Friends of Leonard Cheshire, a global disabilities organization; he now advises the finance committee of the New York Pops and serves on the music committee of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. He also served as "Principal For a Day" at PS 185 in Manhattan.