Greek government announces financial support for chair in Greek Studies


Published: 30Jun1998

Greek minister of culture visits McGill University to announce Greek government financial support for chair in Modern Greek and Greek-Canadian Studies

On Thursday, July 2 at McGill University, the Greek Minister of Culture, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, accompanied by His Excellency John Alexander Thomoglou, Ambassador of Greece to Canada, will be the special guests at a reception marking the final phase in the establishment of the Phrixos B. Papachristidis Chair in Modern Greek and Greek-Canadian Studies. Mr. Venizelos will be announcing a $400,000 contribution by his government, an amount which will complete funding of the Chair and allow the search for candidates to fill the position to begin. Financing for the Chair was initiated by gifts from the family and friends of Mr. Papachristidis, the late Montreal shipping industrialist. In 1992, this was augmented by a contribution from the Government of Canada.

The scope and focus of the Chair are unusual in that they will embrace several fields of academic study and link scholars in areas such as language, sociology, and education with the Canadian Greek community. According to Dean of Arts, Carman Miller, "McGill’s Greek Studies program has an international reputation for excellence and innovation. Expanding this curriculum is an exciting step forward and typical of our desire to look at areas of teaching and research from many different perspectives. It will also strengthen our ties to Greek Canadians across the country." In addition, Dean Miller sees the Chair as a key element in promoting close relations that already exist between his faculty and other institutions, in particular the Université de Montréal. "We want the Chair to support an inter-university program in Greek studies. We all have courses in this area and I think there are real possibilities to work together and share resources."

Principal Bernard Shapiro expressed gratitude to the Greek Government on behalf of the University. "This generous commitment from the Government of Greece is a tremendous vote of confidence in McGill. The Chair in Modern Greek and Greek-Canadian Studies will have a major influence on academic and cultural communities that extends beyond the McGill campus. It will enable us to attract world class expertise in this field and enhance the McGill tradition of scholarship combined with community service."

The reception for Minister Venizelos and Ambassador Thomoglou will be hosted by Richard Pound, Chair of the Board of Governors of the University and Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee.