York University and the Hellenic Heritage Foundation have an established relationship that is committed to bringing Modern Greek Studies to the forefront. Since 2004, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation has raised over $3.5 million (together with matching funds from the Ontario Government and York University) towards the endowment of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair of Modern Greek Studies including numerous graduate student fellowships and undergraduate student scholarships in support of Hellenic Studies at York University.
For more information on the Hellenic Studies Chair at York University, click on the following link:
Perpetuity Undergraduate Scholarships in Hellenic Studies
As a direct result of your support, York today is an international hub of Hellenic Studies, offering courses in Greek history, language, and literature.
Through the Chair of Modern Greek Studies at York University, the Foundation has created 7 Undergraduate Scholarships in Hellenic Studies at York University and 3 Graduate Fellowships. The scholarships are awarded to students continuing their studies in Modern Greek history, language or literature.
Perpetual Named Scholarships are established by a donation which guarantees that a contribution will live on in perpetuity given that the sum is protected and only the interest is used to fund yearly scholarships. These scholarships have received matching funds from the Ontario government and will financially enable many students to pursue the career they’ve dreamed of.
In addition to the scholarships at York University, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation have contributed matching funds to create the Anaximandros Fellowship at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Named after one of the earliest thinkers to attribute order in the universe to physical processes and in honour of 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mr. Mike Lazaridis, this honourary scholarship is reserved for students who are passionate about theoretical physics and is exclusively available for promising young physics talent of Hellenic heritage, including Greek-Cypriot heritage.
In honour of 2014 Lifetime achievement award recipient Christos Hatzis, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Mirkopoulos Family, established the HHF Nick Mirkopoulos Memorial Graduate Fellowship at the University of Toronto. This endowment fund has been created for the benefit of the University of Toronto’s student award programs for Doctoral students enrolled in the composition program within the Faculty of Music.
Through the generous donations of our members and supporters, the HHF has directed funding toward the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Canada-Greece Fund. The opportunities that the SNF Canada-Greece Fund supports are as follows:
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship Fund supports students enrolled in undergraduate programs at institutions in Greece with which York has formal relationships to allow them to study at York University on academic exchange.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Visiting Graduate Student Scholar Award is available annually to a doctoral student at a university in Greece with which York has a formal relationship. The recipient will receive the designation of “The Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Visiting Graduate Student Scholar” during the period of their stay. This award will be open to students who are completing a PhD in any discipline and intend to visit York University for research purposes.
To celebrate the first year of the Fund, it was decided with the SNF to use the undergraduate portion of the fund to bring a larger contingent of students from Greece to York as ambassadors for a two-week summer school in order to: a) promote the exchange to Greek institutions and students; b) maximize the number of students benefiting from the fund; and c) maximize the benefit to each student, thereby contributing to a Canada-Greece connection in as meaningful a way as possible.
Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP)
In June 2012, the Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP) at York University was founded with Sakis Gekas, HHF Chair in Modern Greek History and Chris Grafos, Ph.D. candidate in History, as its co-stewards. Beyond its inherent value of collecting and telling the stories of the Greek diaspora in Canada, the GCHP is an initiative designed and committed to identifying, acquiring, digitizing, preserving, and providing access to primary source materials that reflect the experiences of Canada’s Greek immigrants and their descendants. It is our collective hope that the Greek Canadian History Project will become fundamental in illuminating the history and events that have shaped the experiences of Greek immigrants in Canada and their descendants.
The University of Toronto
After more than 10 years of absence, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation re-established the Modern Greek Studies Program at the University of Toronto in the Fall of 2014. The program will be funded on a year-to-year basis, starting with a donation of $180,000 over three years. This will fund two half-courses in Greek politics and Greek history, respectively, and one full course in Greek Language. Public lectures will be included as well an opportunity for students to travel to Greece as part of their studies for credit.
Study Abroad Programs
The Foundation currently offers study abroad courses through York University and the newly established Modern Greek Studies Program at the University of Toronto.
Through the University of Toronto and beginning in the Spring of 2015, a select group of 11 students will travel to Greece for one week as part of a new Study Abroad component of the Modern Greek Studies Program.
As well, a new Study Abroad program will become available for the first time in the Summer term of 2015. The students will begin their studies in Athens and attend an orientation with HHF Chair Holder, Professor Sakis Gekas. While in Greece, students will benefit from seeing the modern/contemporary aspects of the city, learning about its recent history and contrasting it with the ancient past. This life changing experience will include visits to industrial, commercial, shipping and mining locations as well as the more mainstream, ‘touristic’ visits to ancient and byzantine sites and the central buildings and institutions of the city.
Upon their return in late July, students will then attend classes at York U with Professor Gekas to reflect on their trip to Greece and will be invited to write their essays and explore innovative ways to approach the history of Modern Greece and Athens through architecture, art, industrial archaeology and other interdisciplinary approaches.
For more information on the course details, please visit
The Hellenic Heritage Foundation recently commissioned a study to compare and evaluate various curricula being offered throughout major city centers across the globe. The study was carried out by Eirini Kotsovili from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and compared available curriculum programs offered to the Greek Diaspora throughout Canada, the United States and Australia.
The following report is now available for all communities to share throughout the Diaspora so that it can be used as a guide and reference to resource material that is currently available and is being taught
• Click here to view the Curriculum Study
After several meetings with Community groups, organizations and educators, the Foundation determined there was a significant need and desire for a professional development certification course designed for individuals teaching Greek as a second or foreign language with a specific emphasis on children learning Greek at the primary level.
A questionnaire was distributed to a number of Greek Language service providers across Ontario and they unanimously agree that such training is most desirable and very much needed.
Accordingly, in the Fall of 2015, the HHF and Faculty of Education at York University developed and delivered, free of charge, a 36 hour certificate program entitled "Effective Teaching". During the course, participants worked the following skills:
1.Creating learning environments where students are active participants as individuals and as members of collaborative groups.
2. Displaying effective and efficient classroom management promoting risk taking and appropriate student behavior.
3. Designing lessons that allow students to participate in empowering activities in which they understand that learning is a process and mistakes are a natural part of learning.
4. Identifying and employing a wide variety of instructional, assessment and evaluation strategies and tools which promote inclusion, accommodate diverse learning needs of all students and encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning.
5. Creating an environment where student work is valued, appreciated and used as a learning tool.
The course was offered to any Greek school teacher in the GTA and beyond, regardless of whether they teach at a Greek community, public or private school. Twenty Greek teachers enrolled in the inaugural program and it is not an exaggeration to say that the course was a resounding success. Following are some of the comments the Foundation received from participants:
"This module was a great opportunity to upgrade - for myself as a teacher but also as a person and as a mom. It was complete, clear, meaningful and interesting from beginning to end. The only thing I recommend is that all teachers have to take this course."
"Course was resourceful, fun, productive, professional, active and enjoyable."
"(The instructor) was an exceptional teacher, prepared and organized. She put a lot of thought and care into providing information and teaching effective techniques which met our needs and the needs of our students. In 40 hours we acquired knowledge which will last a lifetime."
"This module helped me a lot and I learned so many new things and techniques which I can apply to the classroom."
"I hope other teachers have an opportunity to participate in such a course also."
"It was perfect. I loved the activities and crafts we did."