American Hellenic Institute


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AHI Congratulates AHI Member Kyriakos Tsakopoulos on Endowing an Hellenic Studies Chair at Columbia University and the Tsakopoulos Family for Its History of Philanthropy
July 15, 2004—No.46 (202) 785-8430

AHI Congratulates AHI Member Kyriakos Tsakopoulos on Endowing an Hellenic Studies Chair at Columbia University and the Tsakopoulos Family for Its History of Philanthropy

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute congratulates AHI member and supporter Kyriakos Tsakopoulos on establishing the Hellenic Studies Chair in the Classics Department of Columbia University, his alma mater.

On June 21, 2004, Mr. Tsakopoulos donated $1 million to Columbia University to endow the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Chair as a tribute to his late grandfather and namesake. This generous endowment will fund a professor in the University’s Hellenic Studies Program in the Classics Department and will launch an annual lecture series on "Aristotle and the Moderns."

"My grandfather exemplified what it was to have character and to be a good man and that’s what Aristotle teaches," said Tsakopoulos.

Professor Karen Van Dyck, director of the Program in Hellenic Studies at Columbia University, said, "this chair will make Columbia one of the premier centers for Modern Greek Studies in the United States."

Mr. Tsakopoulos emphasized the relevance of Aristotle’s enduring works, The Politics and The Ethics to our modern times, explaining that "our notions of justice and the importance of the rule of law, the definition of what it is to be a good person and a good citizen, are most eloquently and accurately described by Aristotle in these two books."

Mr. Tsakopoulos, a proud alumnus of Columbia College who rowed varsity crew there, is a graduate of the Program in Hellenic Studies and Columbia University. "I owe Columbia University a huge debt of gratitude," he said. "With this chair and other things I plan to do beyond it, I hope I can begin to repay that debt."

The Tsakopoulos family, led by his father Angelo Tsakopoulos, has demonstrated, through this gift and past philanthropy, a commitment to supporting and promoting higher education throughout the country. In his home state of California, Mr. Kyriakos Tsakopoulos and his family have recently offered 1,100 acres of land for the construction of a private four-year university near Roseville, California.

His sister, Elena Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis and her husband Markos, established a chair in Hellenic Studies at Georgetown University in December 2003 which will develop courses with an emphasis on contemporary Greece.

Mr. Tsakopoulos is President and Chief Executive Officer of KT Development Corporation, a land development company headquartered in Roseville, about 20 miles east of Sacramento, CA. He actively serves both charitable and political causes. He is a Trustee of the California State University System, Chairman of the University of California at Davis MIND Research and Development Institute, and a Democratic National Committeeman. Mr. Tsakopoulos also serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia College and the Crocker Art Museum. He is a member of the California and U.S. Supreme Court bars.

AHI strongly commends the Tsakopoulos family for recognizing the importance
of chairs in Hellenic Studies at our major universities to the survival of Hellenism in America.


For additional information, please contact Vivian Basdekis at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at