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Michael G. Cantonis Endowment in Greek Studies

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This fund was established in 1996 by Michael Cantonis to support instruction and research programs in Greek Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Cantonis was born May 25, 1915, on the Island of Symi, Greece. He moved from Greece to the U.S. at 17, arriving through Ellis Island in 1934. He took economics classes at the University of Tampa and worked at his uncle’s sponge company before moving from Florida to New York. He and his wife raised three children in Chicago and he moved his company to Tarpon Springs in 1977.

Cantonis founded Acme Sponge and Chamois Company, Inc. in Tarpon Springs and served as its vice president and treasurer. The company specializes in sponge and chamois tanning. From 1934-38, he worked at Sponge Fishing Company as a buyer. Michael was also president, director and regional agent of Tarpon Springs Sponge Market, Inc.

Michael passed away in 2009. His wife Anastasia, passed away in 2014.

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