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Associates Host Dinner

Ambassador Loucas Tsilas (left), Associates President Christine Crockett, and Professor Christos Doumas at the dinner in Doumas’s honor hosted by the Kelsey Associates.

In March 2001 the Kelsey Museum, together with the Modern Greek Chair in the Department of Classical Studies, hosted Dr. Christos Doumas, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, University of Athens, Greece, for an extended visit. Doumas, who has been Director of Excavations at Akrotiri, Santorini, since 1975, visited our campus as its first Onassis Foundation (U.S.A.) Senior Visiting Fellow. Michigan was one of only four universities in the country that he visited in this capacity.

During his weeklong stay, he gave two public lectures and two presentations in undergraduate classes, all of them illustrated. He also gave a talk at a beautiful dinner hosted by the Kelsey Associates before an invited audience of 70 guests. The formal dinner was attended by the director of the sponsoring Onassis Foundation (U.S.A.), Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, who flew from New York especially for this memorable occasion and spoke about his institution’s ambitious cultural plans in the U.S.

Doumas is a world-renowned expert in Aegean early Bronze Age, with an interdisciplinary breadth that ranges from material culture to language, myth, and art. He shared his expertise not only with his large audiences but also in informal exchanges with faculty and students. He described the excavations at Akrotiri in detail but was also eager to discuss broader issues, such as methods and techniques of excavating, restoring, conserving, and displaying ancient finds. People everywhere were intrigued by his deep knowledge, probing mind, and engaging personality. In turn, our guest was impressed by Michigan’s exceptional strengths in Greek history and culture from prehistoric times to the present.

The Kelsey and the Modern Greek Chair are grateful to the Onassis Foundation for sponsoring this richly rewarding visit and look forward to both more Visiting Fellows and future collaborations between our two institutions. Events like these bring together the University and the larger community in a common quest for historical understanding.

—Vassilios Lambropoulos