By Denise Dick
Katherine Glinatsis Kartalis, a 1959 Youngstown University graduate, repaid the institution that educated her with a $525,000 donation.
Of the donation from Kartalis and her husband, Andrew, $450,000 will be used to establish an endowed scholarship with the YSU Foundation, $25,000 will go to the Veterans Resource Center and $50,000 will go to the Williamson College of Business Administration to name a team room.
“We were not a family of means,” Kartalis said Thursday after the dedication of the room inside Williamson. “But my sister and I were able to get an education, and it was because of the good of the university that that was possible.”
A Youngstown University education was affordable, she said.
Kartalis’ mother was a first- generation Greek, and her dream was for her children to go to college. While a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School, Kartalis worked at the former Mahoning Meat Co., liked her job and didn’t think she needed college.
“Every day when we would come home, my mother would ask my twin sister and I, ‘Did you go up to the school?” she said.
One day the twins arrived home to find a stranger in the living room. Their mother had invited a representative from the university registrar to the home, and he signed them up for classes right there.
Kartalis majored in business education and traveled the world with her husband, Andrew, who was in the Navy. He retired in 1976 and the family settled in Pepper Pike, near Cleveland.
The team room named for Kartalis, located on the second floor, will provide a quiet area for students to work together, said YSU President Randy J. Dunn.
“On behalf of the entire university, I want to thank Andrew and Katherine for their generosity and their commitment to Youngstown State University and our students,” he said.
Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration, said it offers dedicated space for the students to spend their time on campus.
“If it weren’t for this ceremony today, that room would be filled,” Licata said.
The Kartalises have two daughters, Angelique Berry and Elena Caspar.
Because of the donation, the couple will become members of the YSU President’s Council, the group of top university donors.