A $5 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will enable UCLA to create the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture. The center, which will be housed in the UCLA College, will build on the university’s strengths in Hellenic studies and support research across disciplines ranging from archaeology and classics to languages and digital humanities.
In addition to its teaching and research mission, the center is envisioned as a vibrant cultural hub for the sizable Los Angeles Greek community, which has been formed by generations of families and new immigrants. About 150,000 Americans of Greek ancestry live in California — more than in any other state except New York — with about half of them in Southern California, according to a 2006 U.S. Census Bureau survey.
The center will engage with organizations, churches and academic institutions throughout Southern California to present community programs and generate interest in Greece’s historical and ongoing contributions to modern culture.
“We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for helping us establish a permanent home for research and teaching on Greece and the Greeks, ancient and modern,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “The Greeks have played an important role in the history of the world and in higher education. Their ideals and achievements have sparked inquiry and teaching, and advanced our understanding of humanity, all of which are echoed in UCLA’s own commitments as a public institution.”