Ivan Savvidi: «Today is one of those moments when I can say that I am happy!»

A department of Pontic studies has been established at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki supported by Charitable foundation of Ivan Savvidi.

A special celebration with the participation of politics, scientists and students was held in Thessaloniki on 31st of May.

The department established in the frameworks of the agreement between the university and Charitable foundation, will accept students of the philosophy department in October 2017. Students would be able to choose a wide range of fields concerning the history of Pontus region- since the collapse of Komnenos Empire to the process of population exchange at the beginning of XX century.

According to the university senate decision Κυριάκος Χατζηκυριακίδης PhD was appointed the Head of the department.

He has already launched a research programme to gather and consolidate archive and bibliographic materials related to the presence of Greeks in Pontus region and South of Russia.

Pericles Mitkas, Rector of the Aristotle University, mentioned in his speech that such an important event had been scheduled for May. This month is associated with tragic dates for Greeks of Pontus- the Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance Day and fall of Constantinople. He also expressed words of gratitude to Charitable foundation of Ivan Savvidi for full support for this important undertaking and hope that Centre of Pontic studies would be organized at the University.

Ivan Savvidi in his speech emphasized the importance of this event for the global Hellenism and for himself. He also expressed gratitude to the team of the University which worked at this project.

«Today is one of those moments when I can say that I am happy! I’m happy to connect my name to the university. I will support the Department of Pontic studies as long as I can and will call upon my children to do it. We will proceed to establish the Centre of Pontic research in the near future. The foundation is able to assist the supplement and complement of the professor team and involve more scientists. We are going to finance research projects and support international cooperation with leading scientific centers studying Pontic Hellenism, history of the Empire of Trebizond, the catastrophe of Asia Minor. All doors are opened today, we can realize creative and scientific potential of Pontic Hellenism.», he said.

Ivan Savvidi addressed the audience in Pontic language: «I look forward to the day when those who are not Pontus, I wish I were a Pontus».

The establishment of the department of Pontic studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has generated significant positive feedback.

Guests of the celebration took part in recital with Pontic dances and songs.