zoukis-feature

Suzan and Stephen Zoukis’ Gifts Support Research and Scholarships at Georgia State

Suzan and Stephen Zoukis

Suzan and Stephen ZoukisEverything changed for Suzan M. Zoukis when she told a friend that she and husband, Stephen M. Zoukis, did not have enough money to afford his second year of law school in New York. The friend offered a phone number to a philanthropist who went on to fund Stephen Zoukis’ education in the law. How could the couple pay him back? “It’s a gift. Just pass it on,” their benefactor said.

“We didn’t come from a background of philanthropy, or ever have money for extras for giving, and we never dreamed we would be in the position we are financially today to give back,” said Suzan Zoukis (B.A., ’84), who supported her husband’s success in law and real estate. “That gift was something that changed everything for us. And now we are doing things that can be game changing for others.”

Her recent $1 million bequest will fund unrestricted scholarships at Georgia State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, where Suzan Zoukis’ sociology degree profoundly impacted her daily life. “Read any front page and opinion page of a newspaper, and you will cover what a sociologist would address,” she said. “That’s what I think about all the time.”

The Zoukis’ endowed fellowship and research fund in GSU’s political science department focuses on mandatory minimum sentencing, spurred by her son’s incarceration under those federal requirements. “Her gifts play a vital role to help ensure the long-term security and excellence of the university,” said Arts and Sciences Dean William J. Long.

Zoukis Researchers

Left to right, Bill Downs with fellow Georgia State researchers Lesley Reid, Mike Fix and Mike Evans

Bill Downs, a political science professor, says the “Zoukis Endowment is helping Georgia State scholars answer important questions about the effectiveness of mandatory minimums in reducing crime and recidivism rates. The Zoukis’ gift is absolutely vital to our faculty and graduate student researchers.”

“If you have the brains and will to get an education, how much money you have shouldn’t detain or hold you back,” Suzan Zoukis said, with conviction borne of receiving that help when it was needed most.