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UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia Hosted Weekend Conference Oct. 14-16

October 19, 2022

STORRS, CT – A unique weekend of events was held October 14-16 at the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia in Storrs, CT, with distinguished guests and speakers on October 14 discussing the centennial of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the centennial of the Asia Minor Catastrophe, while the Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon and the Pan-Laconian Federation of the USA & Canada held their annual conventions.

The Conference was organized jointly by the Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia, UConn Hellenic Student Association Paideia and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese High Council of Education. The Conference was supported by Connecticut Greek Orthodox Communities, HANC, New England Federation of Hellenic Societies, Pan-Pontian

Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon President and Director of UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia Ilias Tomazos and Dr. Eirini Grapsia, Acting Coordinator of Education for the Consulate General of Greece in New York at the Center’s Spartan Museum. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Federation of the U.S., Pan-Laconian Federation of USA and Canada, Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon, Connecticut Hellenic Bar Association, World Federation of Pan-Macedonian Associations, and Pan Gregorian Restaurant Owners Association of Connecticut.

The first part of the conference on October 14 included Professor Fotios Papademetrakopoulos as Conference Chair, the prayer, welcoming remarks, and greetings by the invited dignitaries. President of the High Council of Education Athena Kromidas presented “The Contribution of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese High

Council of Education to the Omogeneia.”

A tour of the Spartan Museum followed the Divine Liturgy at Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel and a reception at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia on October 16. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

The National Herald Religion Editor Theodore Kalmoukos discussed the origins of the Archdiocese of America and the meaning of its link with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, Prof. Aristotle Michopoulos spoke about the history of Hellenic College-Holy Cross, and UConn students then presented papers after which comments and questions were taken.

The Conference on the Centennial of the Asia Minor Catastrophe was chaired by Prof. Demetrios Giannaros and included greetings from the invited speakers. Hellenic News of America publisher Paul Kotrotsios spoke about the burning of Smyrna, Pan-Pontian

The Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon honored 2022 Rhodian of the Year Emmanuel Psaras, Gennadion Society Omonoia President, at right, at Lake View Restaurant in Coventry, CT. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Federation President Kostas Tsiflidis discussed the Pontian Genocide, and UConn students also presented on the Catastrophe. The Pontos Society of Norwalk, CT and UConn Hellenic Students Association Paideia then presented a program of music and dancing. A dinner was held at Lake View Restaurant in nearby Coventry, CT, honoring the invited speakers and guests.

The Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon held its meeting of the 94th Annual Supreme Convention on October 15 with Supreme Lodge President and Director of UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia Ilias Tomazos offering the welcoming remarks. The election of officers was held with Tomazos continuing as President, Nikos Kartalis elected Vice President, Secretary Christina Kapolis, and Treasurer William (Vasilis) Angelis.

The Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon Supreme Lodge Officers were sworn in on October 15, left to right: Vice President Nikos Kartalis, President Ilias Tomazos, Secretary Christina Kapolis, and Treasurer William Angelis via Zoom. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

The Pan-Laconians also held their convention meeting on October 15 and joined the Pan-Rhodian Society for lunch and at the dinner at Lake View Restaurant where the Society honored 2022 Rhodian of the Year Emmanuel Psaras, Gennadion Society Omonoia President.

On October 16, the Divine Liturgy, Artoklasia, and a blessing of the fanouropita were held at Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel at UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia after which Tomazos thanked everyone for their presence and support. He noted that it was about the same time of year that the chapel opened in 1995. Erected in an authentic Byzantine style, the chapel includes icons and mosaics by artists from Greece. Tomazos then introduced Dr. Eirini Grapsia, Acting Coordinator of Education for the Consulate General of Greece in New York, who noted the Center’s tremendous progress since her previous visit a few years ago and how the love of the homeland and the faith here are not only in words but also in deeds. She added that in her role at the Coordinating Office of Education, she would continue to support the Center’s efforts.

Members of the Pan-Laconian Federation of the USA & Canada and Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon President Ilias Tomazos posed for a commemorative photo at the Spartan Museum at UConn’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Tomazos then introduced the archaeologists from Greece who were visiting the Spartan Museum for a consultation ahead of the opening of an exhibit on the archaeology of Sparta.

A luncheon followed and a tour of the Spartan Museum and the open air all marble Greek Theater Alexander the Great concluded the weekend of events at the Center.

The all-marble, open air Alexander the Great Theatre at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

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