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The 80th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Greek Nationality Room, Nov. 5-7 (Video)

PITTSBURGH, PA – The celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Greek Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh takes place November 5-7 with a schedule of fascinating events available for viewing online including the dedication of the digital Greek-American Cultural Center of Western Pennsylvania.

This is a first-of-its-kind “cloud” resource where everything from the history of the first Greek immigrants to our region, to virtual tours and walks, libraries, access to media and music, and a rich database of more than 1000 documents and photos related to Greek-Americans in Western PA since the 1900s will be available to all.

Most important will be the testimonials of families. The Executive Committee of the Greek Nationality Room noted via email that “we have compiled two videos already but we hope that everyone’s contributions can help preserve the history of Greek-Americans in our region.”

The weekend of special events begins on Friday, November 5 with greetings from Richard Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Allegheny County, and William Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, as well as proclamations dedicating the weekend to the Greek-American community of Western Pennsylvania and the Greek Nationality Room at the University of Pittsburgh.

The keynote address is titled “A Tribute to the Major Stewards of the Greek Nationality Room Since its Dedication.”

On Saturday, November 6, the Synaxis of Greek-American organizations and associations of Western Pennsylvania to celebrate and offer a tribute to the Founders of the Greek Nationality Room through the recollections of their living descendants with a special commemoration and a special tribute to Nicholas G. Kalmer, Great Benefactor of Crete and the Church of Crete, takes place.

Among those scheduled to deliver their greetings are Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the USA Alexandra Papadopoulou, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher, His Eminence Archbishop Eirinaios of the Church of Crete, Regional Director of Crete Stavros Arnaoutakis, Mayor of the Municipality of Heraklion, Crete Vasilis Lambrinos, Technical University of Crete Professor Emeritus and Former Rector and Member of Poets & Writers (USA) Dr. Yannis A. Phillis, Director of the 7th Health District of Crete Lena Borboudakis, and Pancretan Association of America President James Boutzoukas.

The celebration continues on Sunday, November 7 with A Tribute to Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and a Celebration of Intercultural Unity, including a special greeting from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, greetings from

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, and the keynote address and tribute by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, titled “The Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras as a Model and Inspiration of Ecumenical Religious and Intercultural Unity in the Face of Modern Humanity” in memory of his consecrating and dedicating the Greek Nationality Room on November 7, 1941.

Introductions will be made by Evangelos Andreou, Poet-Aesthetician of Art, Chairperson of the European Art Center of Greece (EUARCE) and Acc. H.C. of Accademia Collegio de’ Nobili di Firenze, and Ambassador Dimitris N. Iliopoulos (Ret.), President of the Association of Greek Retired Ambassadors, Member of the Board of the Hellenic Institute of Strategic Studies, Research Associate of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Former Principal Adviser of the European External Action Service, and Associate of the European Art Center of Greece (EUARCE).

Distinguished Guests and Speakers include Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh CEO Esther Bush, Dr. Jordan Golin and Ivonne Smith-Tapia of Jewish Family and Community Services, Dr. Zipora Gur and Ellen Resnek of Classrooms without Borders, and Rev. Fr. Paul Abernathy of the Neighborhood Resilience Project.

The celebration concludes on November 7 with the Inauguration of the Digital Cultural Center of the Greek-American Community of Western Pennsylvania, a “cloud”-based living cultural entity accessible via the Greek Nationality Room and its partner organizations that will serve as a perpetual multidisciplinary testimony of the life and accomplishments of the ancestors and descendants of Greek immigrants in the Western Pennsylvania area, as well as an organic center of Education via internet links to online Greek language learning programs, History and Culture via links to digital history and cultural resources and libraries in Greece and the Greek Diaspora, and Information/News/Current Affairs via links to media and resources of current events in Greece and the Greek Diaspora.

The Digital Cultural Center will also host the archival material and the Proceedings of the International Conferences (from 2007 onwards) “Byzantine Musical Culture” of the American Society of Byzantine Music and Hymnology together with a comprehensive digital musical and musicological library which are part of the University of Pittsburgh Center for International Studies.

The Conferences were held under the Auspice of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and serve as a musical bridge between the University and the Mother Church.

More information is available online: https://pahellenicfoundation.org/80th/.


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