Hellenic studies scholars get a boost from a longtime supporter

York University has received another generous gift from the Hellenic Heritage Foundation.

On May 31, the foundation donated $75,000 to fund their second graduate fellowship in modern Greek history. The gift will be matched by the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) and the Graduate Support Matching Program (GSMP) to create an endowment fund valued at $225,000, providing five times the support of the original gift.

Above: From left, Paul Marcus, president & CEO, York University Foundation; John Fanaras, president, Board of Directors, Hellenic Heritage Foundation; Mamdouh Shoukri, president & vice-chancellor, York University; Tom Karvanis, scholarship committee member, Hellenic Heritage Foundation; John Sotos, past president, Hellenic Heritage Foundation; Martin Singer, dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

“It’s our hope that this donation will encourage more graduate students to focus their research on modern Greek history and participate in exchange and study abroad opportunities,” said John Fanaras, president of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation.

This is the third major gift the University has received from the foundation. 

In 2002, an endowed gift of $1.5 million from the foundation established the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History, the only chair of its kind in Ontario.

A 2006 gift of $50,000 from the Hellenic Heritage Foundation established a graduate fellowship in modern Greek history. It, too, received matching funds from OTSS and the University to establish an endowed fund of $200,000.

“I would like to thank the Hellenic Heritage Foundation,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “The ongoing support York has received from the foundation has helped to make our program the leading centre of Hellenic studies in Ontario and beyond.”

While most Canadian universities offer programs and courses in classical studies, York is the only Ontario university to offer undergraduate students programs in both ancient and modern Hellenic studies. The University’s degree program in Hellenic studies offers a coherent program of study in Greek language, literature, history, philosophy, art and culture from antiquity to the contemporary period.

“We are truly grateful for the unwavering support from the Hellenic Heritage Foundation,” said Martin Singer, dean of the University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “Their ongoing generosity has helped to strengthen our commitment to Hellenic studies at York University.”

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation is a non-profit organization which focuses its fundraising efforts on supporting organizations that preserve, promote, advance and integrate Hellenic education, culture and heritage in Canadian society.

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation’s gift is attributed to the York University Foundation’s York to the Power of 50 fundraising campaign. The campaign, the largest in York’s history, recently concluded, raising a total of $207 million.