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The official inauguration event of the “Nikos Kazantzakis Visiting Scholar Program” at Berkeley

The official inauguration event of the “Nikos Kazantzakis Visiting Scholar Program”, the first internationally recognized program bearing the name of the ecumenical Greek author, Nikos Kazantzakis, took place at the University of California, Berkeley in April 18, 2023 , under the auspices of the Secretary General for Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Members of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation Board of Directors, Professor Christine Philliou, Director of the Modern Greek and Hellenic Studies Program at UC Berkeley, and special guest Niki Stavrou, CEO of the Nikos Kazantzakis Estate, celebrated the first program lecture delivered by Professor Kavouras, of the National and Kapodistrian University of Greece.


The Secretary General for Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Chrysoulakis, extended his greetings at the opening ceremony and warmly congratulated the initiators of the program, Professor Christina Filiou, as well as Chris Kanios, President of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation. Mr. Chrysoulakis emphasized that the Secretary General for Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy systematically supports Greek Studies Chairs and the promotion of Greek language learning worldwide, especially in the face of significant contemporary challenges, such as the academic decline of the Humanities. Classical and Greek studies, he underlined, inspire and enrich the broader academic education of today's youth through the timeless universal ideas and values they convey.


Ms. Niki Stavrou, granddaughter of Eleni Kazantzakis and CEO of the Nikos Kazantzakis Estate, affirmed that no other university holds a professorship or chair in the name of Kazantzakis, not even in Greece. “This is an historic achievement for Hellenism and Modern Greek literature, as well as a cultural bridge connecting our two countries. To emblazon Nikos Kazantzakis’s name at one of the world’s great universities is an honor to his legacy. This endowed position is a promise that the profound artistic and spiritual beauty of his work will find new audiences across continents for many generations to come, as was the sincere wish of Eleni N. Kazantzakis, the beloved wife and life companion of Greece’s national author, Nikos Kazantzakis.”



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