GALLOWAY, NJ – The Richard Stockton College Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies (ICHS) announced the forthcoming creation of the Constantelos Hellenic Collection and Reading Room, in honor of ICHS Founder, Reverend Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos, Professor Emeritus of History and Religion.
Zoe and Dean C. Pappas have donated $50,000 toward the new initiative, and The Richard Stockton Friends of Hellenic Studies have pledged $100,000. ICHS has announced a matching gift challenge, to raise another $150,000 in donations for a total of $300,000 in time for construction, set to begin in May.
ICHS hopes the Collection and Reading Room will be complete by September.
Executive Director Tom Papademetriou in an ICHS press release described Constantelos as one of the “great men in the Hellenic tradition who personifies the true scholar, teacher and priest. He has touched the lives of so many people, whether in the lecture halls here at Stockton and other universities, in the multiple Greek Orthodox parishes he served or even established around the country, or throughout the world through his many articles and books on faith, Byzantine history, and Hellenism.
“We are pleased that the college administration has chosen to honor Professor Constantelos’ contribution, and supporters like Dean and Zoe Pappas and our Friends of Hellenic Studies have come forward to offer such a remarkable challenge. It is a wonderful invitation to our Greek-American community to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity to honor a great man of our community,” Papademetriou said.
“The purpose of the Constantelos Hellenic Collection and Reading Room in the Bjork Library is to provide print and digital resources and study space to promote the study of Greek language, history, and culture,” the press release stated.
“Rev. Dr. Constantelos is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School, where he earned a ThB. He has served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for 53 years, serving several communities in New England, New Jersey and Maryland. After his ordination he earned a ThM in New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a MA and PhD in the history of Byzantine Civilization from Rutgers University. Having received several notable fellowships, including the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Studies Junior Fellowship of Harvard University, he advanced his scholarship through his exceptional knowledge of Ancient and Medieval Greek and an overwhelming passion for Byzantine civilization. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles and book reviews. Among the most notable and groundbreaking is Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare. He has published and delivered papers nationally and internationally, and among other significant scholarly accomplishments, edited twelve volumes of the papers of Archbishop Iakovos of America, and served as a member of the New Revised Standard Version Bible Committee of the National Council of Churches in the United States. Dr. Constantelos’ scholarly focus continues to be the link between Hellenism and Christianity.” Having served as Professor of History and Dean at Hellenic College, Professor Constantelos arrived at Stockton to teach in 1971, the press release stated.
The Collection and Reading Room will build on the approximately 3,000 rare and important works from Constantelos’ personal library, the press release indicated. “Focusing on the history and culture that spans the ancient, medieval (Byzantine) and modern Greek eras, the Collection will continue to expand its acquisitions of Hellenic material that include print and digital resources, books, journals, newspapers, music, art and film, as well as house the NJ Greek-American Oral History Project. “