CULTURE

Stanford Club of Greece hosts dinner in honor of Constantine Mitsotakis

The best way to promote Greek culture is to establish a university chair named after an internationally recognized personality that will draw students to the great universities of the West. The list of such chairs named after Greeks is truly cause for the Greeks to feel proud, particularly the benefactor himself when it is former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis. Last December the honorary president of the New Democracy party, accompanied by members of his family, went to California for the founding ceremony of the chair which is now one more addition to the list of those named after prominent Greeks, including the Eleftherios Venizelos Chair at the London School of Economics, the Constantine Karamanlis Chair at Tufts, the C.P. Cavafy Chair at Michigan and the George Seferis Chair at Harvard. The chair, known as the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Professorship, has been endowed at the departments of Political Science and Classics at Stanford and will support the study of Greek ideas in contemporary society. It is headed by Professor Joshua Ober. «It is a great honor for me and my family that my name is given to this chair. In the years of my political life, and there were many of them, this is the greatest moment of my 88 years,» said Mitsotakis at the formal dinner held by the Stanford Club at the Grande Bretagne this week. A nephew of [Eleftherios] Venizelos on both his mother’s and father’s side, Mitsotakis was an associate of the late Constantine Karamanlis. US Ambassador in Greece Charles P. Ries addressed the gathering before Mitsotakis took the podium and spoke about Stanford, where there are 15 Nobel Prize winners on the faculty. Mitsotakis’s wife Marika looked on proudly from the central table, along with their son Kyriakos, who is a parliamentary deputy and himself a graduate of Harvard and Stanford. Mitsotakis’s speech referred to Greece’s economic situation and the imminent constitutional review, but not foreign affairs, leaving that to his eldest daughter, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. The couple’s other daughters Katerina and Alexandra were there, along with the president of the Stanford Club, Constantine Megiris, and his wife.