Skestos Honors His Parents (and Professors) with New Faculty Chair
Like many a Michigan Law alum, George A. Skestos, ’52, of Columbus, can instantly call his favorite professors to mind: William W. Bishop, Jr., Edgar N. Durfee, and Paul G. Kauper, three luminaries of their day.
“They were wonderful professors,” says Skestos, “so I thought giving a professorship was a natural thing to do.”
Skestos’ recent gift of $1.5 million endows the Frances and George Skestos Professorship through President Mary Sue Coleman’s Donor Challenge Fund. The fund is providing a $500,000 match for the gift as one of the first 20 fully endowed professorships secured by gift agreements since Oct. 1, 2006, when the challenge began.
It is Skestos’ preference that the chair be held by a teacher or scholar of contract or commercial law.
The professorship honors the memory of Skestos’ parents, who made it possible for him to be a three-time Michigan alum, earning a BA in history in 1948 and an MBA in 1951, in addition to his JD.
“My father was of Greek origin,” says Skestos, who also gives generously to the Law School Fund. “He worked hard and sent me to Ann Arbor, so I’m doing the professorship in honor of him and my mother.”
Skestos is founder, past president and chief executive officer of Homewood Corporation, a Columbus-based home building company. His son George is also a Michigan alum, with a 1990 BA from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
One of that special group of Wolverines who have affectionate ties with both the U-M and Ohio State University, Skestos served on Ohio State’s board of trustees for nine years, with a one-year term as president. With his wife, Tina, he served as a co-chair of “The Power to Change Lives,” a fundraising initiative for the Ohio State University Medical Center.
“Although I have been deeply involved with Ohio State, I feel strongly about Michigan and the Law School,” says Skestos. “Some of my happiest days were spent at the University of Michigan.”