In 1810, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was founded in Boston and established the Bebek Seminary outside Constantinople in 1840. In 1862, it was transferred to Merzifon, and in 1886, the Anatolia College of Mersovan was founded as a theological seminary with Charles Tracy as President. The students were principally Greek and Armenian, most coming from outside of Merzifon and boarding at the school, while the faculty was Greek, Armenian, and American. Enrollment soon reached 115 students. In 1893, the girls' school was founded.
In 1920, enrollment stood at 218 students, with an equal number in the girls' school and the campus consisted of more than 40 New England style buildings. Anatolia included a kindergarten, a school for the deaf, high schools for boys and girls, a college-level program, a theological seminary, one of the largest hospitals in Asia Minor, and an orphanage for 2000 orphans.
With help from Eleftherios Venizelos, Anatolia reopened in Thessaloniki in 1924, renting buildings in Harilaou, with 13 students, mostly refugees. Enrollment soon reached 157, while the Mission School for Girls in Thessaloniki became part of Anatolia College Anatolia in 1927. In 1934 the school moved to the newly constructed campus above the city near the village of Pylaia, on the lower slopes of Mt. Hortiatis.
When Greece entered World War II upon the Italian invasion in 1940, the school closed and the campus was used as military hospital. When Germany invaded Greece the campus was taken over by the Germans as general headquarters for the Balkans. The surrender documentations of Greece were signed in the school's main building, Macedonia Hall. In 1944-45 the campus was occupied by the British Army (the last units would not leave until 1949).
At the end of the war Anatolia reopened, as repair of the damaged campus proceeded. The girls' school was moved into temporary quarters on the Anatolia campus after its building on Allatini Street burned. For a number of years the schools remained separate, but co-education was completed by the end of the 1980s. However, the two schools are still administrated by different Deans. The final division of Anatolia College, the I.B. school, was established in 1998.
In the meanwhile, a secretariat school was established in 1964. In 1981, the School of Business Administration and Liberal Arts (SBALA) was founded to provide post-secondary instruction in business and the liberal arts and in 1993 the first four-year baccalaureate in liberal arts was awarded. In 1997, the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) was finally accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
ACT (American College of Thessaloniki) is the tertiary division of Anatolia College.
It is accredited in the United States by NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. In addition to ACT having full NEASC accreditation, the undergraduate programs delivered are validated by the Open University, UK. ACT has been granted a license by the Greek government to operate as a private post-secondary educational institution (“College”).
ACT's undergraduate curriculum leads to Bachelor’s degrees in Business (with 5 concentrations), Computing (with 2 concentrations), International Relations, and English (with 2 concentrations). It offers a Master of Science (MS) in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) with concentrations in Banking & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Management, and Marketing in the Digital Era.
ACT offers a need and merit-based financial aid program.
The secondary division of Anatolia is the original element of this educational institution. Anatolia is organized in accordance with Greek law and grants the Greek Apolytirio (the Greek high school diploma) by meeting the requirements established by the Greek Ministry of Education, while students enrolled in the I.B. program receive the I.B. Certificate. Entrance to the regular high school and IB program is based on examinations and previous school records.
Anatolia High School offers the MYP program from 7th to 10th grade. MYP provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world.
With the exception of courses in English, Art and Computers, the Greek high school curriculum is taught in Greek, while all IBDP courses are taught in English except Greek Literature that is taught in Greek. Each gymnasium (grades 7-9) and lyceum (grades 10-12) has its own Dean and Deputy Dean, and the IBDP program has its own Director. The High School as a whole is overseen by the Vice President for Secondary Education.
Anatolia College's high school, apart from the Greek Ministry of Education Program, hosts an International Baccauleureate Diploma Program, the IBDP, for the two final years of high school. Entrance is competitive, and upon entrance, students have to select a subject from each of the six fields of study the IB offers: Two languages, one primary and one secondary, one Mathematics course out of the three levels that are offered, Science, Social Sciences, and Arts. In addition to the six subjects, (three of which are in the Standard Level, and three of which are in the Higher Level), it is compulsory for each student to compose an Extended Essay, a 4000 word project, in the Subject of his/her choice, as well as take part in a Theory of Knowledge Course.
Students wishing to sit for the IBDP, can receive up to 7 point per subject, and a total of 3 points from Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. Grades are given in total out of 45 points.
The Anatolia Elementary was Established in 2004 and formally opened in 2005, and includes a kindergarten and an elementary school. The enrollment is 450 students.Gikas Hardouvelis (class of 1973), Minister of Finance (2014-).
Yiannis Boutaris (class of 1960), Mayor of Thessaloniki (2011-).
Harris Mylonas, Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.
Aris Papadopoulos (class of 1974), CEO Titan America (1994-2014), Founder, Resilience Action Fund (2015), author
There are 230 faculty members at Anatolia College, divided among the three divisions as follows: Elementary School (32), High School (156), and ACT (42). The majority of the faculty members are Greek, with the following other nationalities represented: British, American, dual nationals and other European nationalities. The student to teacher ratio is 1:9 throughout the entire institution. The administration of the school, with the exception of the President, is Greek, with some members having dual citizenship.
Anatolia College is governed by a Board of Trustees with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Approximately half of the Trustees reside in the New England region while most of the remainder represent other areas of the United States. Several Trustees are Greek residing in Greece. The Trustees maintain an office in Boston to conduct fund-raising and otherwise serve the College.
Anatolia has had 11 presidents, the first 10 from the United States of America. The current president is Dr. Panos Vlahos, who is the first Greek president in the history of the institution. The longest-lasting president of Anatolia was Charles Tracy, whose tenure lasted for 26 years, followed closely by Dr. William McGrew, who was president for 25 years. The shortest presidency was that of Joseph Kennedy, who was president for 3 years.
Anatolia College, Johns Hopkins University and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation have partnered to create the "Center for Talented Youth Greece at Anatolia College", a part of Johns Hopkins's CTY program already acive for over 30 years in 120 countries.
The goal of the program is to identify and educate children of 5 to 16 years old that have special talents or capabilities, achieve high scores in school and are dedicated to learning beyond the limits of the regular educational system.
The program began in 2014 with the setting in operation a summer camp for children of 12 to 15, who will study subjects at a university level in various fields, such as, but not limited to, game theory. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation will fund the participation of students in the program for the first 3 years of its operation.
There is an expansion of the program scheduled for the future concerning all-year and online courses.
Anatolia College students are given a choice of over 70 clubs to join. Many students have earned national and international awards through participation in the school clubs, such as the Anatolia College Model United Nations, which is hosted annually, the Drama Club, which performs English musicals, and the Greek Drama Club, mostly performing comedies or ancient Greek plays. The college also has a presence at the Youth Parliament of Greece.
The Aegean Tournament is hosted every year at Anatolia College. Students from schools all over Greece attend and compete in sports. Field Day is also hosted once a year, and students of Anatolia College are given the opportunity to compete in sports, dance competitions and other such events. The school's sports teams have won awards on a national level.