The Chicago-based Hellenic Link-Midwest strives to foster and promote cooperation and fellowship among professionals of Hellenic descent.
History of Hellenic Link-Midwest
Hellenic Link-Midwest was established and incorporated in 1985 as the Midwest chapter of the KRIKOS, based in New York, and with chapters in the United States, Canada, and Greece. As the link among the chapters lost significance, several chapters became independent, while others disbanded. Hellenic Link-Midwest has been an independent organization since the mid-1990s.
Founding member, Past President, Board Member, Program Chairman, and Newsletter Co-editor Constantine Tzanos, PhD, explained the mission of Hellenic Link-Midwest (HLM).
“Our mission is ‘to foster and promote cooperation and fellowship among professionals of Greek descent both in Greece and America, and to preserve, promote, and enrich the Hellenic heritage of its members and of our community’.”
Since its inception HLM has sponsored or co-sponsored some 250 events, including lectures, symposia, conferences and performances. Insightful cutting-edge topics related to our omogenia or current affairs are interspersed with cultural and arts events in order to provide a forum for both established and up and coming Greek professionals, scientists, academics, writers and artists. These events cover a wide spectrum of topics, including current events of interest, technology, science, history, politics, economics, literature, philosophy, and the arts.
Each month, HLM publishes a newsletter, of which Dr. Tzanos is the co-editor.
“The short, but quite rich newsletter, includes summaries of HLM’s upcoming events, brief summaries on some current events in Greece and Cyprus, an article on especially notable pages of the Greek or Greek-American history, and a page ‘From the Riches of Our Cultural Heritage’, that is, a page with poetry of great Greek poets or with a beautiful song of the Greek people (dimotiko tragoudi).”
HLM collaborates with many organizations of similar interests. These organizations include National Hellenic Museum, Hellenic American Academy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Pontian Greek Society of Chicago, Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois, Greek Women’s University Club, Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Amnesty International, Greek-American Community Services, Macedonian Society of Greater Chicago, and Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society.
Notable Programs & Events
Dr. Tzanos is proud of all the organization’s programs, but considers the following as among highlights. The list shows the diversity of the programming.
October 1991: Conference – “The Role and Identity of Greece in New Europe”
1994: Symposium – “Greek Primary Education in America: Entering the 21st Century”
1997: Panel Discussion – “Greek-American Women in Politics”, featuring The Honorable Adeline Geo-Karis, Senator, Commissioner Maria Pappas, and Stella Adams Cuthbert
1999: Lecture – “The Cyprus Crisis of 1974: American Policy Perspectives Then and Now,” by Ambassador Thomas Boyatt
2003 Musical Performance –“A Tribute to the Music of the Celebrated Greek Composer Mikis Thedorakis,” by Concertante Di Chicago
2005: Theatrical Performance – Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates,” Yannis Simonides
2007: “The American Embassy and the Collapse of Democracy in Greece, 1966–1969”, by Ambassador Robert V. Keeley
2012: “The Greek-Turkish Dispute in the Aegean Sea and the Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone”, by Prof. Theodore Kariotis
2013: “Why Should We be Excited by the Discovery of the Higgs Particle,” by Prof. Nikos Varelas
HLM Scholarship Awards
Every year in January, at HLM’s dinner dance and New Year celebration, a number of scholarships are awarded to college and university students who have at least one parent of Greek origin and are Midwest residents. Typically, four scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and economic need.
Planning for 2017 is Underway
Planning is already underway for the 2017 cycle of programs including a lecture this April by Professor Vicky Kalogera on the fascinating world of Cosmology.
“We plan to continue with our established program of activities and possibly expand it if our financial resources, which are a quite limiting factor, would allow it.”
HLM Annual Dinner Dance & New Year Celebration
HLM’s Annual Dinner Dance, New Year Celebration, and Scholarship Awards will be held on January 21, 2017, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Schiller Park, IL. The proceeds from the event are used to support the scholarships, the cultural and educational programs, and the other activities of the organization.
Member benefits include notification for all events, free admission to the organization’s cultural programs, discounts to select social events or plays, voting privileges, and a subscription to the HLM newsletter.
Further information, a membership application, and details on both upcoming and past events can be found on the Hellenic Link-Midwest website.