Christos and Joan Panopoulos
Christos was born in Greece and fled his homeland because of a conflict and came to the U.S. in 1955. After serving the U.S. Army Panopoulos moved to Grand Rapids, where he managed a hair salon. Panopoulos is the retired founder, Chairman and CEO of Salon Enterprises (Panopoulos Salons, Haircuts Plus and Chic Schools). He currently serves as a member of the board of the Grand Valley University Foundation.
Joan Panopoulos, long-time resident of Grand Rapids, cares deeply about education and the community in which she lives. Joan grew up on Staten Island, New York, where she attended Hunter College in Manhattan and graduated with a degree in education. Joan taught for several years specializing in working with gifted children. While visiting relatives in Grand Rapids she met Christos Panopoulos whom she eventually married.
Joan and Christos built a very successful business; Panopoulos Salons, Inc. Joan held several positions within the business and found that her background in education was valuable in developing trainings and workshops for employees.
The purpose of the Joan A. Panopoulos Scholarship is to provide opportunities for graduates of the Grand Rapids Public Schools to attend college. Joan’s wish is for the West Michigan area to grow and prosper through education of its young people, particularly students that demonstrate great promise and aspire to pursue a higher education degree but are challenged financially to follow that dream. This scholarship, therefore, is created to give qualified students assistance with the costs of their education at Grand Valley State University and to enhance their becoming knowledgeable, caring and contributing citizens. The scholarship is designated to benefit Grand Rapids Public High School students who have participated in the TRiO Upward Bound program with aspirations to receive a college degree.
The purpose of the Christos T. and Joan A. Panopoulos Physician Assistant Studies Scholarship is to assist students and fill the need for health care professionals. Both Christos and Joan are proud advocates of health care in West Michigan.