The Alexia began in 1991 as the Alexia Foundation, created with the mission to promote cultural understanding and peace by supporting photographers as agents for change. In 2021, the program transitioned to the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and became The Alexia. Through grants, scholarships and special projects for photographers, filmmakers and other visual creatives, The Alexia promotes the power of visual storytelling to shed light on significant issues around the world.
Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis founded the Alexia Foundation in partnership with the Newhouse School in 1991 to honor their daughter. Alexia Tsairis was a 20-year-old photography major at Newhouse when she was killed in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland as she was returning home from a semester abroad in London.
During 30 years of promoting photojournalism as a catalyst for change, world peace and understanding, the foundation has awarded over $1.7 million in grants to 170 student and professional photographers through annual competitions. In early 2021, the foundation became part of the Newhouse School and was renamed The Alexia. In the fall of 2021, Bruce Strong
was named the Alexia Endowed Chair at the Newhouse School.