NEW YORK – Since inception, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has laid particular emphasis on supporting initiatives whose goal is the promotion of the Greek culture and Hellenism worldwide, including the Greek language. During the many years of its operation, the SNF has supported, through a series of grants, centers for Hellenic Studies as well as programs for the promotion and dissemination of the Greek language.
The SNF’s contribution to the promotion of Hellenic Studies has been demonstrated through manifold grants for the establishment or the support of the operation of renowned University Departments and Centers focusing on the study of Hellenism worldwide. To date, the SNF has been a proud supporter of many Centers for Hellenic Studies in the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe and Turkey.
Through our support, in 2010, the Simon Fraser University developed, apart from its traditional instruction of Greek language, culture, and history courses, online Greek language tutoring. The University managed to reach a truly wide audience, including a large audience in China, through their collaboration with Chinese Universities. Most recently, the Foundation supports the development of a project, titled: “Rebooting the Greek Language”, a digital platform for Greek language learning within the Diaspora, through the utilization of 21st century pedagogy and innovative technology.
In the United Kingdom, the SNF has closely collaborated with the University of Oxford in the area of Classical and Byzantine Studies, as well as with the King’s College London in the area of Modern Greek Studies. More specifically, at King’s College London, the SNF has supported the renowned Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature. Finally, a grant was made to the University of Cambridge for the implementation of a Greek linguistic technology project, whose goal is to promote and facilitate the study of Greek through the medium of print and the Internet.
In Germany, our support to Freie University in Berlin regarded the establishment and four-year operation of the Centre for Modern Greece in Berlin, a Center, which has assumed a leading and coordinating role in continental Europe. Grants have also spanned France and Spain, with support provided to the Centre of Byzantine, Modern Greek and Cypriot Studies (C.E.B.N.Ch.) of Granada as well as small scale efforts at a community level for the transmission of Greek language and culture through grants to I Milia and Le Miel des Anges.
In Turkey, the Foundation’s support has been twofold. On the one hand, we have provided substantial support to Koc University in Istanbul for the creation and operation of the Center for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. At the same time, we have been supporting – for almost a decade – the instruction of the Greek language through our grant to the Hellenic Study Center of the Greek Consulate of Istanbul. The SNF has also made similar grants in several countries in Europe and in the US for equipment and resources to ensure Greek language instruction and education are promoted, as exemplified by its support to the St. Demetrios Greek American School in New York.