On March 22, Santikos Theaters announced they would be making available 50 thousand dollars to both St. Marys and UTSA, to be used as scholarships for students.
The donation to UTSA breaks down into fifty one thousand- dollar scholarships, to be awarded to incoming freshmen for the 2011-2012 school year. The qualifications include a major in liberal and fine arts, a 3.0 or higher GPA, and a strong display of leadership.
The idea came about when John Santikos began looking for a way to mark the centennial anniversary of Santikos Theaters in Texas. It was exactly a hundred years ago that his father, Louis Santikos, immigrated to the U.S. from Greece, settled in Waco, and bought his first movie theater.
But the inspiration for this donation also came from a strong connection to the San Antonio area in particular. Besides the fact of his company being based here, John Santikos, the current president of the franchise, feels he owes his start to San Antonio.
Marji French, Vice President for the Advancements Office, says that Santikos specifically “wanted to do something for college kids.” Although he graduated from St. Mary’s, Santikos has ties to both of the major universities in San Antonio.
Jim Dublin, head of a PR firm that works for UTSA, says Santikos also chose to donate to UTSA “because of the working relationship he had developed over the years with Dean Gelo of COLFA.”
Santikos, whose father strongly pushed him to attend college, wants the scholarships to inspire their recipients to pursue education, despite the growing challenges.
Dublin says, “scholarships and support for higher education are all that more important in these days of state budget cuts and rising college costs.”
The scholarships will be awarded this summer after all high school transcripts are in. Lisa Blazer of the Scholarship Office says, “we will be working with those students that submitted a scholarship application by the February 15 deadline first.”