Friday, June 5, 2020

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Officiates AHI Foundation E. John & Cleo Rumpakis Library Rededication Ceremony

Hellenic News
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Washington, DC-  The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) held a ceremony to rededicate the AHI Foundation library in honor of E. John and Cleo Rumpakis, October 27, 2017.  His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, presided over the ceremony.

“We sincerely thank His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who travelled from New York to preside over the ceremonies. His Eminence’s blessing, wisdom, and contribution to the Orthodox portion of the library were appreciated greatly,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.

Archbishop Demetrios offered remarks following the ceremony.  His Eminence spoke about the significance of the word, “Institute,” and its Greek meaning, “Thesmos, which is “an institution that has a character of value that is beyond normal things.”

In addition, His Eminence spoke about the library’s significance and the books His Eminence donated to it: “This place could be a very good place for archival research. I am talking from experience from the Archdiocese. During my eighteen years, there have been at least five or six doctoral dissertations written based on the archival material of the Archdiocese. Here you have this excellent material on Cyprus and so many other issues related to the American-Greek relationship. Mr. Rossides has been a symbol of this type of things being himself a history expert. On this occasion we would like to offer a contribution to this institution.”

Among the dignitaries in attendance were: His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos; Ambassador of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos, Andreas Nikolaides, deputy chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington; Colonel Panagiotis Kavidopoulos, defense attaché, Embassy of Greece in Washington; and AHEPA Executive Director Basil N. Mossaidis. AHI Board Members: Leon Andris, Demitrios Halakos and his wife, Georgia; James Marketos, Esq., James Pedas; and longtime AHI supporters: Theodore Pedas, George Mermelas, John Sitilides, Paul Kotrotsios, and Panayiota Larigakis; along with current and former AHI staff, including: Georgea Polizos, Ellen Reklitis, and Marina Kiotsekoglou, were all in attendance.

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“We are deeply grateful to E. John and Cleo Rumpakis for their very generous gift to the AHI Foundation Library which has been rededicated in their honor,” Larigakis said. We thank them for their contribution to the pursuit of the education of young adults and scholars, alike, in the awareness and promotion of Hellenism. With the re-opening of the library, the AHI Foundation will be able to provide a resource to the community to learn about Hellenism through our significant ancestral history.

During the library’s restoration process, President Larigakis stated AHI was able to “properly catalog, restore and present roughly 2,500 books, 1,600 journals and unclassified government publications, and 400 historical documents and special collections in the Institute’s possession, thereby creating a remarkable library that will serve the community as one of the most unique collections on Greece, Cyprus and the southeast Mediterranean.”

This task was performed with the extensive help of Gregory Graves, an AHI Foundation Graduate fellow, and Ph.D. candidate at George Washington University, who has been dedicated to studying the 1974 Cyprus invasion. His work was instrumental in organizing and cataloging the thousands of books, publications, and newspaper clippings that collectively form the library’s resources. In addition to Graves’s work to establish the library collection, he has produced 31 binders of previously declassified government documents regarding the illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974 by Turkey, as part of his doctoral thesis.

A complete searchable list of the AHI Foundation E. John & Cleo Rumpakis Library collection can be found at


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