Modern Greek at U of illinois

CHICAGO, IL – On December 5 a special event was held in support of the of Modern Greek Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that raised $20,000.

The organizers were the Hellenic Studies Support Network, which was created by graduates of the program and members of Greek-American organizations in the greater Chicago area.

As was highlighted in the invitation that was sent out to the community by well-known attorney George Reveliotis, the evening’s objective was to support a college program not only presents Hellenism to non-Greeks but brings out what Hellenism means to members of the community.

Reveliotis, who just completed his term as president of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America and is an alumni of the school and a member of the program’s advisory board, told TNH that they also wanted to raise awareness in Chicago, which is two hours away from Urbana Champaign.

Ioanna Efthimiadou, the Consul General of Greece, warmly greeted the guests and congratulated the organizers for their initiative in support of the maintenance and expansion of the program that was been operating since 2008.

She emphasized the importance of institutions that promote Greek culture and values and support Greek studies and the teaching of the Greek language in universities. “Give your children the joy of being able to study the Greek language and to be able to express themselves through it.”

The main speaker was Stefanos Katsikas, the director of the program, who made an audio-visual presentation about its activities, including seminars and educational excursions to Greece and Cyprus.

One of the most important accomplishments of the Center is the gathering of students and faculty of Greek descent into a force for the promotion and support of its programs.

The presence of Andreas C. Cangellaris, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mary Kalantzis, Dean of the College of Education filled the guests with pride and pleased the organizers. Both spoke in Greek about the importance of such programs, which they called diamonds in American academia. They urged the members of the community and its leaders to support the program with all their ability for the sake of Hellenic education and culture in America.

Reveliotis was very pleased. “The excitement of the people and their interest was very high. That gave us a great feeling of optimism for future events to help the program financially,” he told TNH.