University Greek Night Welcomes Greek Community Support
By Catherine Tsounis
Hellenism is alive and thriving in Queens, New York. Hurricane Sandy, a northeastern storm and gas shortage did not stop persons from attending. “This is a special event on Saturday evening, November 10th at SJU D”Angelo Center Ballroom,” said President Alexeas. “This evening will transport you to the Mediterranean. A night of traditional Greek folk dances, catered Greek cuisine and live music has not been held in the D’Angelo Building since 2010. This is exactly what New Yorkers needed to boost their morale. Professors who attended included: Sr. John Spiridakis, Dr. John Siolas and Dr. Peter Kalkanis and others.
“Greek Night is for the community,” said Meghan Alexeas, President of the St. John’s University Hellenic Society. “Generous donations came from Diners.” Vice-President Despina Victory explained “persons from the metropolitan Greek American public raised funds for us to have high caliber Greek music in Minore Entertainment. An unforgettable solo was sung by Georgia Linaris. The finest Greek foods and desserts were served. We are happy that everyone had a great time.”
Every event has unique human interest stories. Graduate student Christina Polios came with her friends to ignite excitement on the dance floor. “I took three years of Modern Greek language classes at Long Island City High School,” explained Angel Ortega, Hellenic Society public relations. Globalism is spreading the Greek language. Georgia Linaris, a singer in the Archdiocesan Metropolitan Choir, sang “Mi mou Thimonis Matia Mou” (Don’t be Angry My Sweet Eyes), She came with her sister Marianthy and mother Argyro. They related family experiences with the monastery of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Chios, Greece. The Mantikas sisters, their cousins, are currently enrolled in Modern Greek 1.
“The Hellenic Society hosted a fantastic evening of great Greek cuisine, live music and Greek dancing,” said Dr. John Spiridakis, Professor and Coordinator of St. John’s University Graduate Programs in the School of Education. “The band played beautifully and included two exceptional singers.” Dr. Kalkanis said the social “with inspiring music, reminded me of how proud I am to be Greek Congratulations to the SJU Hellenic Society on a job well done.”
Meghan Alexeas explained her Greek name is “Metaxia. I go to my Father’s town of Alagonia, Kalamata every summer.” Kalamata in the Greek Peloponnese is the hometown of Yanni (Yiannis Hryssomallis), New Age Composer. “Yanni Live at the Acropolis” is the second best-selling music video of all time. “My Mother, who is Irish, makes the best Spanakopita, better than any Greek.” This is the new image of Greek-American youth, holding on to Hellenism. The Hellenic Society’s mastery of Greek dance reflects their training from childhood. President Alexeas’ strong convictions inspired her to look up all students with Greek names in university database. The data was incorporated into the Hellenic Society’s mailing list. Mr. Alexeas, her father, worked in the background setting up the event. His daughters, cousins and friends created a presence of an extended family network. Hellenism is the only civilization that exists from ancient times, besides the Jews and Armenians. Knowing one’s community will come to one’s aide creates an independent generation. This was the true success of the Hellenic Society’s “Night in the Mediterranean”.
Dr. John Siolas, advisor to the St. John’s University Hellenic Society, will be teaching the following courses in Spring 2013: GRM 1020C, MODERN GREEK LEVEL II, W, 10:40-13-30, Marillac Hall 207 and GRM 3130, MODERN GREEK FOR BILINGUAL USE , T F, 3:25-4:50. E-mail Dr. Siolas at [email protected] or call: (718) 990-6314. “Knowing basic Greek will help advance you in Law School and Health Professions,” said Dr. Siolas. For more information on the Hellenic Society, visit https://sjuhellenicsociety.webs.com
or email [email protected].
Photo 1 – Hellenic Society leaders with their professors: Meghan Alexeas, President (1st row left to right); Despina Victory, Vice-President; Myrophora Christo, Secretary; Paulette Porfyris (2nd row left to right), Angel Ortega, Public Relations; Dr. John Siolas, Faculty Moderator; Dr. John Spiridakis, Professor and Coordinator of St. John’s University Graduate Programs in the School of Education and Alexander Vasiliades, Graduate member.
Photo 2 – President Meghan Alexeas’ Hellenism supported by Mr. Alexeas, her father, who worked in the background setting up the event with extended family network.