California State University, Sacramento
Angelo Tsakopoulos is a prominent, civic-minded businessman in the Sacramento region where he heads one of the area's largest development firms. As a philanthropist and benefactor, he has made lasting contributions to the educational and cultural life of the greater community.
Born in Greece, he has lived his life expressing his belief in the Greek idea of "paideia," or education. He has been a driving force behind the establishment of the S.B. Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism, an academic research center and think tank based in Sacramento, which co-sponsors highly recognized conferences, many of which are in conjunction with California State University, Sacramento.
He came to this country at age 15, arriving through New York and passing by the Statue of Liberty. Following a year in Chicago living with relatives, he came to live with another uncle in the San Joaquin Valley. A neighbor and mentor encouraged his school work and persuaded him that a college education could be a part of his future.
Having attended California State University, Sacramento, he has made many generous donations to his alma mater. These include the A.K. Tsakopoulos Fund for the Study of Real Estate and Land Use; the Angelo and Sofia Tsakopoulos Endowment Fund which supports the Dominic J. Bazzanella Literary Awards, a student writers' competition; and the Anthony J. Leones Scholarship, which benefits 25 students a year. He has served as co-chair of the CSUS Capital Campaign, part of the 50th anniversary celebration of California State University, Sacramento. While attending CSUS as a political science and business major, he supported himself as a waiter and real estate salesman and fought on the university's boxing team.
He began his real estate business in Sacramento in 1963 and since then his accomplishments in that arena have become legendary. He had built more than 40,000 homes and 30 million square feet of office space. He has donated land for schools, art galleries, museums, hospitals and senior citizens facilities. He also has been a major benefactor for the arts and other service organizations.
In recognition of his many contributions to education, the community and the nation, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer upon Angelo Tsakopoulos the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.