Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Chair

In 2004 we were at a critical juncture in which our success was moving us from the ranks of strong middle-sized programs to a major center for Hellenic and Balkan Studies. We had grown from a one-person operation to an integrated interdisciplinary program with six full-time faculty who focus their research and teaching on Greece - three supported by outside funds and three supported by the University. Our most basic needs were endowment funding for our junior professorship as well as administrative support. At the beginning of the new academic year 2004-05, the Program's alumnus Mr. Kyriakos Tsakopoulos initiated this process with a generous gift in honor of his grandfather, also named Kyriakos Tsakopoulos. The University authorized the hiring of Vangelis Calotychos in this tenure-track line as well as a part-time administrative help for the program. In order to connect the Ancient and the Modern concerns of a Modern Greek Studies program in a Classics Department as well as our donor’s interests, we also created an annual lecture series titled, "Aristotle and the Moderns." In 2007, the university supplemented Mr. Tsakopoulos’s initial gift with matching funds from an endowment set up by University Trustee Gerry Lenfest. This upgraded the junior position to a full professorship in the area of Political Science and Hellenic Studies. In 2010, Professor Nadia Urbinati took on the Tsakopoulos title for her work on Athenian democracy. At the same time, the university created the first tenure-line position in Modern Greek Literature and Culture paid for by the central administration in the Department of Classics for Calotychos as well as a half time administrative position for a program coordinator.