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Announcing the re-endowment of the Koraes Chair

Posted on 17/10/2017
Koraes wikipedia copy
Adamantios Koraes, also known as Adamance Coray (1747 Smyrna – 1833 Paris)

King’s College London is pleased to announce the re-endowment of the Koraes Chair in Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature.

Thanks to the generosity of charitable and educational foundations and individuals in Greece, Cyprus and the UK, over £1.5 million has been raised, so as to ensure the future of this unique and prestigious Chair, which will be 100 years old next year. 

We are immensely grateful to the donors who have made this possible, not only through their financial support, but also with their time, influence and encouragement which helped lead to the success of this appeal. King’s College London is proud to go forward and build upon its world-leading position in modern Greek and Byzantine studies, in partnership with our dedicated and passionate supporters in the international Greek community and in the UK. We wish to extend heartfelt thanks to the A. G. Leventis Foundation who bravely launched this campaign, to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for the second major gift which propelled us forward, and to the growing family of extremely generous supporters: The Hellenic College Trust, The Hellenic Foundation, The Family of Tassos and Angele Nomikos, George Vergottis Memorial Fund, Stiftung, Bank of Greece, The Schilizzi Foundation, the late Nicholas Egon FKC and Mrs Matrona Egon, Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus. 

We are also pleased to announce that the appeal has additionally made possible the establishment of the first two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship, supporting the work of the Koraes Professor to generate new research, apply for significant external funding, and increase public engagement in the field of post-classical Hellenic studies. We look forward to seeing these Fellowships grow in future. 

The Koraes Chair was established in 1918, with generous support from the Greek business community, particularly in London, and the Parliament of the Hellenes. Ever since, it has become a focal point in the UK and beyond for the study of Greek history and culture from the end of antiquity to the present day. It is unusual in covering three academic disciplines (history, language, literature), as well as a chronological span of some 1700 years. 

The Chair has been since 2015 part of the College’s Department of Classics, the third largest in the UK, and the only one to offer teaching and to carry out research across the full range of Hellenic studies from prehistory to today, within a single academic unit. 

Professor Roderick Beaton, FBA, current Koraes Professor said, 

‘Thanks to the generosity of the donors, the future of the Koraes Chair, which I have had the honour to hold for almost thirty years, has been secured for the future. I am proud to look back on those past thirty years of my own tenure, and to reflect on the longer vista of the achievements of my predecessors, that will soon become a century. As I come up for retirement in the summer of 2018, I look forward to the imminent appointment of my successor, and to following closely the achievements of the Chair as it embarks on its second century. To all the donors who have supported our appeal, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.’ 

The impact of the Chair has been its legacy of fostering a vibrant group of scholars who have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and the worlds of business, public administration and the diplomatic services in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and beyond. As we celebrate the centenary of the Koraes Chair in 2018 and look forward to its next hundred years, we can be confident that King’s will continue to play a pre-eminent role in teaching, research and promoting public knowledge and understanding of post-classical Greek history and culture in London, the UK, and around the world.

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