Nicholas Cassas established the professorship in Greek studies in 1994 so that students would remember the history of ancient and modern Greece. He believed that Americans should be aware of the influence of Greece’s history on modern art, architecture and politics.

Cassas grew up in East Harlem, N.Y., the son of Greek immigrants who fled their home in Turkey in the early 1900s. Every day after he returned from regular public school, Cassas attended classes in Greek culture, history and language to keep in touch with his heritage. He earned a degree in communications in 1954 from the University and later earned a law degree from St. John’s University. He worked as a lawyer and a real estate developer until losing his eyesight in the mid-1970s.

A generous benefactor of the University, Cassas also established a fund to allow selected undergraduates to spend academic years in Greece. He has funded other projects in the Greek program in the Department of Classics and in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Cassas lives in Florida and has three children: Mary Ann, Andrew and Stephanie.

Nicholas A. Cassas Distinguished Professor in Greek Studies

2008 – Present: Donald Haggis