UCLA has received a gift commitment from Demos and Carol Anagnos and the Aris Anagnos Foundation to establish the Aris Anagnos Family Chair in Hellenic Studies in the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture.
The chair, which will provide funds to support the work of a distinguished scholar and graduate students in Hellenic Studies, honors the memory of Demos’ father, Aris Anagnos, a UCLA alumnus, real estate developer, humanitarian and social justice activist who passed away in 2018. Demos Anagnos serves on the UCLA College Division of Humanities Advisory Board.
Dean of Humanities David Schaberg said, “We are so very grateful to the Anagnos family for establishing this new endowed chair, which is vitally important to our efforts to enhance and broaden UCLA’s expertise in Hellenic Studies.”
The gift was augmented by match funds from the Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match Initiative and the Humanities Centennial Matching Gift Opportunity made possible by the Kaplan/Panzer Humanities Endowment. It was part of a $3 million campaign to raise external match funds following a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in 2017 to initiate the Center, which is envisioned as a hub for multidisciplinary research, teaching and public programs.
Born in Athens, Greece in 1923, Aris Anagnos served with the Greek Army as part of the Allied Forces in the Middle East during World War II. Following the war, he immigrated to the U.S. and earned his degree in business administration at UCLA before pursuing a career in real estate. In an interview for the Greek Heritage Society, Anagnos emphasized the importance of teaching Hellenic Studies: “We need additional chairs, like a chair at UCLA.”
Anagnos served on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for 25 years, including a term as president. He was also one of the founders of the American Hellenic Council of Southern California, serving continuously as vice president and one term as president, and president of the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action. An activist for peace in Kosovo and Serbia, and for human rights movements in Latin America, Anagnos was awarded the Ralph Bunche Peace Award by the United Nations Association.
Demos Anagnos said, “I am deeply honored and proud to be in a position to establish the Aris Anagnos Family Chair in Hellenic Studies in the name of my beloved father, enhancing an already terrific institution of scholarship and learning. In addition to my father, my mother Lorraine, my wife Carol, and I all graduated from UCLA, so it has always held a special place in my family.”
Sharon Gerstel, director of the UCLA SNF Center and holder of the George P. Kolovos Family Centennial Term Chair in Hellenic Studies, said, “The Anagnos Chair has established a lasting and meaningful legacy for an extraordinary alumnus of this university, and we are very proud to honor him in this way. Through this endowed chair, the Anagnos family is ensuring the continued strength of Hellenic Studies at UCLA for years to come.”
Executive Director, UCLA College Communications