University of Florida Homepage

Mission Statement


The mission of the Center for Greek Studies is to bring together under one aegis the various UF courses and programs that deal with Greece past and present, to promote the values of Greek civilization around the state, and to assist citizens of Gainesville and Florida in their interactions with Greece. It maintains study of Modern Greek language until state accounts can support the instruction.

Description of program and its objectives

The Center for Greek Studies was established in 1980 to coordinate all courses offered at a the University of Florida dealing with ancient and modern Greece. It offers a program which is one of the broadest and most vigorous in the country. Language is at its core; every year beginning, intermediate, and advanced ancient and modern Greek courses are offered. Currently there are 24 courses offered under the CGS umbrella and in any given semester a between 300 – 1200 students are enrolled in these courses. The participating faculty in the Center are drawn from 10 Departments within 5 Colleges. The objectives of the Center, more fully spelled out below, are 3-fold:

  1. to coordinate and support interest in things Greek on campus.
  2. to reach out to the Greek communities of Florida and establish strong bonds between the University and these communities.
  3. to further the interest in Greek language and culture by working with similar programs on the national level, as well as maintaining academic ties with educational institutions in Greece.

List all degree offerings and all related tracks, concentrations, specializations and a options

Within the structure of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Centers are separately funded units attached to regular discipline departments. The CGS is under the wing of the Classics Department and shares courses and faculty with it.

The Center cannot offer its own major, but Classics majors or minors make take a concentration in Greek Studies.

The Center assists in overseas study opportunities’ especially the academic year and summer programs at the College Year in Athens (in Athens and Paros) Greece, and a a student exchange agreement with the University of Thessaloniki.

In 1984, through the generous gift of Tarpon Springs resident Michael G. Cantonis, the Cantonis Award for Excellence in Greek Studies was established. This award is made to the senior student(s) with outstanding academic records in Greek Studies each spring,

Since then, several scholarships have also been established for students of Greek descent or for students in Greek Studies and these are administered through the Center. A complete listing of these awards may be found on the Scholarships link.

Service functions of the program to other programs

Faculty of the Center provide assistance on matters relating to Greek language and culture by:

  • Giving guest lectures to community groups, local and state schools, and other departments or programs.
  • Serving on dissertation committees and as thesis advisors,
  • Providing translations of documents in Greek.
  • Serving as consultants on taxonomy for IFAS and Department of Agriculture.

Formal involvement with other programs

On Campus

  1. The Center for Greek Studies is closely associated with the Classics Department, since many courses under its aegis are those offered by the Classics Department. In a similar way, CGS courses include those offered by the Departments of Art, History, and Philosophy.
  2. The nature of the structure of the Program vis-vis Departments within CLAS mandates that Interdisciplinary programs are involved with Centers.
  3. UF, through the Center for International Studies and Programs, is affiliated with College Year in Athens. Thus CGS students, as well as others, are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to study in Greece. This affiliation with CYA permits students the chance to study for a summer or a full-year in Greece and receive academic credit.


  1. In 1982, the Directors of the Center, with the Dean of CLAS, met with officials in education in Greece and established the basis for exchange programs for students and faculty between UF and the University of Thessaloniki and other educational programs in Greece.
  2. Modern Greek Studies Association is the national organization for those in the United States and abroad who are involved in the study of modern Greek language, culture, and history. This organization, with a current membership of c. 400, holds major scholarly symposia every two years, organizes panel discussions in conjunction with MLA and APA annually, and publishes a biannual journal, Journal of Modern Greek Studies (Johns Hopkins Press). 5 members of the CGS Participating Faculty are members of MGSA.

Public service activities of the program

One of the Center’s main pursuits is its function as an outreach unit. In this capacity it ha established strong bonds of communication between the University and the Gree communities of Florida. The involvement is 2-way and 2-fold:

The CGS assists members of the Greek communities in such ways as:

  • Conferring with parents who want to send their sons and daughter to UF for study, and advising these same students about the opportunities to study the language and culture of their heritage
  • Helping Florida residents gain information about business transactions in Greece
  • Helping find translators, editors, and publishers for Greek documents and texts.
  • Serving, upon request, by assisting in immigration and other legal cases.
  • Serving as consultants to the Greek schools in Florida.
  • Acquiring and showing Greek films.
  • Bringing Greek art exhibits to the University or to Gainesville, and thence to other Florida communities.
  • Actively participating in Greek community events: local and state-wide festivals and Church-related activities, by providing food, music, and dancing.

The Greek communities of Florida and the United States show support for and faith in the work of the Center by responding to the Center’s fundraising efforts. This response led to the College granting two tenure-track positions in Modern Greek to the Classics Department at the University of Florida.