Generous $400,000 donation from the Kallinikeio Foundation was announce during the Graduation Ceremonies of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Queens College
New York.- A generous donation of $400,000 for the creation of a “Kallinikeion Chair for Byzantine Studies” at Queens College, was the gift of the Kallinikeion Foundation for the 32hd Graduation Ceremony of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, last Thursday. Emmanuel Demos, chairman of the foundation announced the donation. The $400,000 will create a fund for the support of the Kallinikeion Chair.
President Emeritus of the New York University and former congressman John Brademas, was the key note speaker. In his address, known as the Constantinos D. Paparrigopoulos Lecture, John Brademas spoke about “Greece, Cyprus and the U.S. Congress, 1967-1980: The Legacy of Benjamin Rosenthal”.
John Brademas, a member of the “gang of four” – the group of members of Congress that pushed for the implementation of an Arms Embargo to Turkey – recalled the struggle of some Democratic members of Congress against the Greek Junta, and their efforts followed the July 15 Coup and the Turkish invasion, for the implementation of the rule of Law.
After August 15, 1974, Brademas, along with late Congressman Rosenthal, then Congressman Paul Sarbanes and Senator Eagleton, visited Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, asking him to apply thw Rule of Law and prohibit arms shipment to Turkey. The amendment was proposed by Ben Rosenthal. John Brademas recalled Rosenthal’s historic speech in Congress, where he raised the issue as the respect of the Laws of the Land, violated by the continuation of arms shipment to a country – invader of its small neighbor.
Brademas also described the failing efforts of the Greek lobby to block the lifting of the embargo, and his opposition to President Carter.
“After he succeeded to lift the embargo, Carter invited me at the White House and told me, now John, we will see how to help Greece and Cyprus, and ask me for the support of the Greek Americans, in the 1980 elections. I told him, Mr President, Greeks may be few, but they are everywhere”.
32 years later, John Brademas feels that the numerous failing efforts to break the Turkish intransigence have proven he was right on insisting in the implementation of the Rule of Law.
He quoted various passages from Professor Palley’s book on Annan Plan, proving that it could not be accepted by the majority of the Greek Cypriots. He pointed out that the European path of Turkey is forcing Ankara to make some serious decisions. Because no European state can occupy another EU members state. Or refuse to grant diplomatic recognition to an EU member. At the same time, he pointed out the various steps Turkey should take for the protection of the religious freedom and the property rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Queens College provost, Professor Evanglos Gyzis, introduced the main speaker.
Dr James Muyskens, President of Queens College, also spoke at the ceremony, congratulating the graduates and expressing satisfaction for the generous donation of the Kallinikeion Foundation to the Center. The foundation’s chairman, Emmanuel Demos, was presented a plaque in appreciation.
Addressing the audience, Mr Demos spoke warmly of late Alexandra Kallin, a generous benefactor of Greek Orthodox education and culture. A Greek teacher, born in Constantinople, made a fortune in the United States, by investing 10,000 – that generated $ 6 million – to the stock market. Alexandra Kallin died 2 years ago, at the age of 97. In 2001, she formed the foundation.
Byzantine Center’s director, Professor Chris Ioannides congratulated the graduates and expressed his gratitude to the board and his assistant director Effie Lekkas. He pointed out that many members of the audience, in their fifties, we students at Queens College 30 years ago. Some of them saw their children graduating from the Byzantine Center.
Amongst the scholarship offered to the students was “The Greek News Scholarship”, in memory of Archie Mavromatis, presented to Angeliki Vovou by our publisher Apostolos Zoupaniotis.
Chris Stratakis, Chairman of the Center’s Advisory Council, Consul General of Greece Ekaterini Bouras and Consul General of Cyprus Martha Mavrommatis, also spoke at the graduation ceremony.