History The Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professorship was established in 1994, after years of hard work and preparation. The initiative to create a professorship in Greek studies came from the Greek-American community in St. Louis and was realized through the State of Missouri Funding Program for Endowed Professorships. Motivated by a common commitment to preserve the Greek heritage in the United States, 300 individual contributors, mostly members of the Greek community of St. Louis, the government of Greece, the Karakas Family Foundation, and the State of Missouri pooled their resources to create the Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professorship in Greek Studies. Since 2001 Professor Michael Basil Cosmopoulos is the holder of the Professorship. Today, the Professorship boasts a strong profile in research, teaching, and public education of Hellenic studies and organizes a wide range of activities that foster the continued interest and development of Hellenism in the St. Louis area, the Midwest and the country at large. For students, the Greek Studies program creates new opportunities to study another language and culture. The Professorship also symbolizes the intentions of UM-St. Louis to become an international university, to internationalize the experiences of its students, and to provide leadership for Missouri and the St. Louis region in preparation of the 21st century.