Frank Maria

A Search for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Frank Maria

(Francis "Frank" Maria of Pump­kin Hill, Warner, N.H., who established the Francis Maria Fund for Justice and Peace, was born in Lowell, Mass., to Syrian Arab Christian immigrants. He earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University and did advanced work through the BU­/Harvard Extension Program. An English teacher and coach at Tewksbury, Lowell and Newton high schools in Massachusetts, he later served with the U.S. Marines, for which he developed leadership training programs during World War II. After the war, Mr. Maria was personnel manager for the Merrimack Manufacturing Co., Lowell, which employed more than 7,500 persons at the time. He became known as an innova­tor and reformer, whose ideas benefited workers. Later, he became an independent consultant, teaching human relations and personnel policy. He also undertook special assignments for government, industry and health care organizations.

 

A lecturer with international credits, Mr. Maria has devoted much of his life to enhancing international understanding, both at the governmental and individual levels. He was the author of "common denominator diplomacy," which helped stimulate the Eisenhower administration's "People to People" program and the Kennedy administration's initiation of the Peace Corps. Named by President Eisenhower to the U.S. delegation for the UNESCO general session in 1960, Mr. Maria has served on numerous diplomatic, refugee relief and ecumenical initiatives. He also has made many contributions to civic projects in Lowell and Warner.

 

He presided over the Federation (predecessor to Senior SOYO) convention in 1950. He represented the Antiochian Archdiocese at the World Council of Churches general assembly in 1983 and served as a member of the Archdiocese delegation to the National Council of Churches. He was a founder of the American Arabic Association (AMARA), and in 1981, he received its Distinguished Public Service Award. Metropolitan PHILIP presented him the Antonian Gold Medal in 1993. The University of New Hampshire presented Mr. Maria an honorary doctoral degree. In 1994

 

Frank Maria