2005 Honorary Alumni
Jim Kalogeros was born in Statesville, North Carolina, on February 7, 1919, to the late John Kalogeros and Minnie Mae Musick. He truly lives by his motto “work hard and you will be blessed.”
From his meager beginnings selling newspapers as a teenager on the street with the late Congressman Jimmy Quillen to the CEO, President and owner of the Peerless Steak House and Peerless Properties, he has never stopped working hard and it shows for he truly has been blessed.The chronicle and dedication of this honorary alum’s life has touched many at East Tennessee State University and throughout the region. He is known for his unstoppable enthusiasm, addictive charisma and most of all his love for his family and friends that shines as an example for us all.
After receiving a call to defend the United States, Kalogeros served a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was honorably discharged as a Navy Chief Commissariat (the person in charge of the supply of food) in 1946.
Kalogeros is a strong believer in his faith and is an active member of several local churches including the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. As a reward for his dedication to his religion in 2003 he received the highest honor of the Greek Orthodox Church “The Archangel Michael Award for Outstanding Service to the Greek Church.” This is a very rare and distinguished honor to have received.
Among his honors and awards are the Hall of Fame Award from the Johnson City – Washington County Chamber of Commerce in 1997, the Restaurant Hall of Fame Award from the state of Tennessee for the “Best Restaurant in Town” in 1997, and he was named the “Restaurateur of the Year for the state of Tennessee” in 1998 by the Tennessee Restaurant Association.
His dedication to ETSU is definitely commendable. He has served as the chairman of the committee to install the seats inside Memorial Center (the Mini-Dome) along with the Dean of Public and Allied Health Dr. John Lamb and the Alumni Director Basil Maltsburger. Kalogeros also served as the chairman of the committee to make a home for the medical school here at ETSU.
Currently, he is a member of the ETSU Foundation and the Pirate Club as well as having served on the ETSU President’s Executive Board for three years and contributed to the ETSU scholarship fund program in the Athletic Department.
When he is not sharing his time with others, he enjoys spending time with his wife Alex of 58 years. The couple has four children Maria (a 1975 ETSU graduate), John (a 1977 ETSU graduate), Elizabeth (a 1982 ETSU graduate), and Gary (a 1984 UT graduate). His favorite pastime is water skiing and at 86 there is no doubt that he puts many others years younger than himself to shame.