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A brief talk delivered at the 4th annual Symposium celebrating Greek Letters and Cultural Heritage on October 31, 1999 by the

Rev. Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos


I will tell you briefly a true story, which explains how Greek language and literature were introduced to the curriculum of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. No salt, no pepper, just some paraphrasing!

Once upon a time, the president of an Institution of higher learning had a cordial conversation with one of the schoolís professors. They talked about policies and ideologies. In the course of their discussion, the professor emphasized that the academic organization of the school offers a plethora of programs. Indeed he said our academic catalogue includes: history, philosophy, theater, music, graphics, mathematics, physics, economics, econometrics, psychology, gerontology, physical therapy, biology, zoology, anthropology(I hope todayís culture is able to see that there is a difference between zoology and anthropology!), archaeology ,energy mechanics, geology, petrology, ese oceanography, photography, metallurgy, ecology, pathology, parasitology, entomology, ichthyology, herpetology, astronomy, genetics, botany, physiology, biotechnology, embryology, eyhics, logic, bioethics, histology, organic and inorganic chemistry, macroeconomics, dendrology, ornithology, microbiology, organizational program analysis, theory and dynamics of programming policy, thermodynamics, characterization of proteins and Ö..

The professor was in a good mood and, like a broken record, desired to identify more basic and general problems and methods to education, when the president of the college interrupted him saying: Okay, okay, I get it. You mean to tell me that all these scientific terms derive from Greek, right?  Ecstatically, he said yes, of course, these and many more. Greek is the language of the Bible, too, is it not? The president asked. Of course, the Bible, the holy book of Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Evangelicals, Methodists, Orthodox, Pentecostals, Presbyterians and other Christians Was written in Greek- the New Testament in particular and some of the Inter-testamental books, known as Deuterocanonical, for some as Apocrypha.

The president smiled and said to the professor: well, I will give you half a line for Greek language and literature and if you succeed I will make it a full line next year. A committee was appointed, announcements were made, Resumes were received from qualified candidates from the United States, Greece, Italy and Canada. Dr. Ippokratis Kantzios with degrees from the University of Thessaloniki, Temple University, Bryn Mawr College(PhD), instructor was selected and appointed to teach Greek-classical, biblical and modern.*

Well, here is the president of the College I have been talking about: Dr. Vera King Farris, President of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, who made the introduction of Greek language and literature at Stockton possible. Dr. Farris, who has just returned from a speaking tour of Sweden and Israel, has been president of Stockton for 16 years. She has received several state, national and international honors and commendations for her leadership and achievements. Most recently she was recognized by the Templeton Foundation for her Leadership in Character Development.  Iím very pleased and honored to present to you Dr. Vera King Farris, President of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

* There is no need to review what has been done except to add that for 1999/2000 academic years, Dr. Kantzios has three students in classical Greek, twelve students in Biblical and ten in modern Greek.




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