The Miltiadis Marinakis Endowed Professorship of Modern Greek Language and Culture promotes the teaching, study, and research of the Modern Greek language and culture. It was established by The Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University on the 25th of March, 2020, with gifts from the Columbus-based Ohio Hellenic Paideia and lead donor Evangelos Marinakis, after whose father it is named.
Miltiadis Marinakis was born in 1930 in Heraklion, Crete. His family owned the best known foundry in Crete and a ship-repair workshop. The bells it produced still adorn the churches of Crete and the business exported its products to Italy, France, and the Dalmatian Coast. During WWII the family estate was completely lost and Miltiadis Marinakis entered the Greek Resistance groups (EAM, EPON). He studied at the Merchant Marine Academy and in 1958 moved to Piraeus where he undertook ship repairs and established his own shipping company. In 1979, he was a member of a group of ship-owners who transformed Olympiakos F.C., the biggest football club in Greece, to a stock company (SA). Between 1978 and 1986, Miltiadis Marinakis entered politics and received the most votes in the Piraeus City Council race. He was elected as a Member of the Greek Parliament on the ‘New Democracy’ ticket in 1985 and 1989. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 68. He was a well-respected philanthropist, with a sense of duty toward his fellow humanity and pride in his Greek heritage.
The Modern Greek Program at OSU expresses its appreciation to Ohio’s Greek Americans, and the Olympic Society in Columbus, for their unwavering support. We extend our heart-felt appreciation to Evangelos Marinakis whose generous Gift was a catalyst for the success of the project. We are grateful to the Paideia Fundraising committee for its tireless work and leadership that made this Endowed Professorship a reality. We thank you for your trust in us and the investment you are making to the Program.