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Leonidas Polopolus

  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Science


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Dr. Leonidas Polopolus Interviewer: Larry Odzak January 30, 1991 Dr. Polopolus is a professor of food resource economics at the University of Florida and is codirector for public relations and fund raising of the UF Greek Studies Center. In the interview, Dr. Polopolus discusses the center. In 1978 Dr. Karelisa Hartigan, now the center's codirector for academic programs, wanted to bring the Greek culture to the UF campus. At her urging, Professor Pangratios, a postdoctoral fellow in physics, taught a course in modern Greek. Polopolus and several others met with Vice-President for Academic Affairs Robert Bryan to secure funding for the center. He agreed to provide half of the funding necessary to open the center. Polopolus then went to Jack Pappas, owner of a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, and other area businessmen and secured the additional funding. Paperwork was filed with the University and the Board of Regents, and the Greek Studies Center was officially dedicated in March 1981. Polopolus describes the event. The center is located in Manning Dauer Hall. There are presently thirty-nine courses offered through the center, including language, literature, art, ancient religion, philosophy, mythology, and a multidisciplinary course called Greek Yesterday and Today. Students that complete the required course of study receive a certificate. Enrollment is from 1,000 to 1,500, which is very good considering the number of Greek students on campus. There is an exchange program with the University of Thessaloniki and a summer program at the Aegean Institute on the island of Póros, as well as a lecture series. Polopolus is presently working on securing funds to endow a chair. O: This is an interview with Dr. Leonidas Polopolus, a professor at the University of Florida and codirector of the Center for Greek Studies. The interview is being conducted at the University of Flo

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