On the giving track
Sharing the Wealth is more than the title of Alex G. Spanos’ autobiography.
It’s a guiding philosophy of his life.
Over the years Spanos and wife Faye have given millions of dollars to youth, sports, medicine, the arts, and education, and have committed $10 million to Sac State's Recreation Wellness and Events Center-the largest single gift to the University.
The Spanos success story is one of determination. He began working at the age of eight in the family restaurant. At 21, Spanos took a borrowed $800 and built it into A.G. Spanos Agricultural Catering, which became the largest caterer to farm laborers in the United States. Later he turned his attention to real estate and in 1960 started the A.G. Spanos Companies. It is now the largest
family-owned construction company in the country.
Spanos has said his mother repeatedly told him, "Kane kalo, na this kalo," Greek for "Do good, so that good comes your way." And the Stockton, Calif. native has been a generous benefactor to every community of which he has been a part.
In Stockton and San Luis Obispo, homes to his alma maters the University of the Pacific and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he's helped renovate a music center and theater, refurbish a stadium, and build residence halls and a sports complex. In San Diego, where he owns the NFL's Chargers, his Chargers Community
Foundation has contributed more than $2 million to youth, education and sports programs. In Sacramento, where he received treatment for a heart condition, he gave $15 million to Mercy General Hospital.
And in addition to his support of Sac State’s Recreation, Wellness and Events Center, Spanos was instrumental in bringing the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials to the campus through his gift of $1.5 million for a state-of-the-art track and numerous improvements to the stadium.
His generosity has earned him numerous awards including the Horatio Alger Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Gloria Swanson Humanitarian
Award and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith’s National Distinguished
Community Service Award. He and wife Faye received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Hellenic College/Holy Cross and Alex received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Cal Poly SLO.
The couple will receive yet another tribute when they are honored at Sac State’s inaugural Green and Gold Gala, Thursday, Oct. 20 in the University Union Ballroom. For information, call (916) 278-7043.