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$1 million gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to York University benefits students, celebrates 70 year Canadian Greece connection

Jun 06, 2013
University students from Greece can hope for a better tomorrow, thanks to a $1 million donation to York University that will allow them to pursue studies at York. The grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation celebrates 70 years of Canada-Greece diplomatic relations, and will be formally announced on June 7 at the Toronto-based Hellenic Heritage Foundation’s 17th Annual Gala.
Τhe grant will establish two endowments: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Undergraduate Exchange Scholarships Fund, which will allow undergraduate students at Greek universities to study at York; and The Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Visiting Graduate Student Scholar Award, which will be available annually to a doctoral student at a Greek university.
“With the Foundation’s support to study in Canada, not only will young students from Greek universities be able to dream, but they will have the opportunity to help make their dreams a reality,” says Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The gift comes at a crucial time, as Greece continues to struggle against a crippling socioeconomic crisis. Its impact becomes even more critical under the current circumstances. The grant falls in line with the Foundation’s current $130,000,000 initiative to combat the severe effects of the country’s crisis.
"The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous gift builds on substantial support from Toronto’s Hellenic community, and enables us to increase international opportunities for students by facilitating student exchanges with partner institutions in Greece," says Martin Singer, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, which attracts thousands of international students to York, including students from Greece.
York’s Hellenic Studies program offers courses in Greek language, as well as Ancient and Modern Greek history. Scholarships funded by York’s partners in the Greek community are available to students in the program. The program’s Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History, Sakis Gekas, recently spearheaded the Greek Canadian History Project along with PhD student Chris Grafos. 
“We hope this new gift will attract bright young scholars from Greek universities and inspire others in the Greek community to invest in the work we are doing with York,” says George Raios, president of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation.