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The ACG Digital Museum


A small seed that flourished


Smyrna, 1932

1875  Founded in Smyrna, Asia Minor (Izmir, Turkey) by women missionaries from Massachusetts. Known as the American Collegiate Institute for Girls. By 1922 enrollment exceeds 300 students.

1923  Re-established as the American College for Girls at the invitation of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos at Paleo Phalero (Athens, Greece) following the Asia Minor catastrophe. In its first year the College was housed in one rented building and had 88 students, mostly Armenian and Greek refugees


1932 ­­ Relocated from Paleo Phalero to the new Helleniko campus

1936 Renamed Orlinda Childes Pierce College for Girls after the wife of Dr. Willis Pierce, a generous benefactor

1941-1944 Dispersed to various private homes and 1 Mavromihali Street during WWII. Buildings at Helleniko used as military hospitals by Greeks, Germans and British

1945 Reopened in four separate properties Athens. Enrolled 300 students out of 450 applications

1946 Helleniko is rehabilitated for college use. In addition to Literature & Language studies, programs in Business and Social Work were established to meet the urgent needs of UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration)

1961 Incorporated in the State of Colorado; governing authority granted by the United Church of Christ to independent Board of Trustees


1965 Relocated to Aghia Paraskevi campus to allow airport expansion at Helleniko. The College division consists of three Departments: School of Liberal Studies, School of Commercial Studies; School of Social Welfare

1969 First bachelor degrees awarded: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

1973 The College/Upper division is named Deree College in honor of generous benefactor, William S. Deree

1979  Pierce College and Deree College become divisions of The American College of Greece

1981  Deree College accredited by NEASC (The New England Association of Schools and Colleges), becoming the first international American college or university to be accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency

1984 Pierce College transitions to co-education, complying with Greek government mandate

1993 Inauguration of the Downtown Campus

2004 Deree Graduate School established; the main campus serves as the high-performance training center of the United States Olympic Committee during the Athens 2004 Olympics

2011 Open University (UK) validation partnership

2012 ACG forms strategic alliance with ALBA Graduate Business School

2015 Institute of Public Health established – funded by Behrakis Foundation

2016 Pierce IB Diploma Program launched

2017 Alba Graduate Business School added to Pierce and Deree as ACG’s third education division

2018 Opening of the ACG Simulated Trading Room with the support of USAID funds

2019 Library renovation project completed with the support of USAID funds