The A.G. Leventis Foundation and the University of Exeter: A 20 year celebration

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THE A.G. LEVENTIS FOUNDATION AND THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER:

A 20 YEAR CELEBRATION



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Foreword

The A.G. Leventis Foundation is a long-standing supporter of the University of Exeter. Our relationship commenced in 1997 following the Foundation’s first gift to support a postgraduate studentship within the Department of Classics and Ancient History. Over the past 20 years, the University of Exeter has received more than £900,000 to support the Leventis Initiative and Leventis Studentship programme in Classics, and recently to support a new postdoctoral research post in the Department of Earth Sciences. There is also a strong family connection; we are proud that Anastasios Leventis, trustee of the Foundation is an alumnus of the University.

In 2017, our 20 year anniversary, we look back at Exeter’s relationship with the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the impact of the incredibly generous support. The Foundation’s support has played a vital role in building research excellence at Exeter by funding numerous studentships and academic posts. Thank you.

Professor Andrew Thorpe Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean (Humanities)


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The University would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their generous support.


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We are incredibly grateful to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their generous, philanthropic support. The Foundation’s support has been fundamental in helping us to become a leading centre of expertise in Hellenic culture. Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is now one of the largest and most successful departments in the UK, with an excellent reputation in both teaching and research. We are in the top ten of all major league tables and rated 6th for research power in Classics. We attract high quality students from the UK and around the world who enjoy a lively and productive learning environment. I am delighted to be able to share this publication, in celebration of 20 years of support. The University is extremely proud of the strong partnership with the

A.G. Leventis Foundation and everything that has been achieved so far. We are also excited about the future potential of our relationship, and continued work to achieve our shared goals. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for everything that they have done for the University of Exeter, and for everything that they are continuing to do. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the future.

Professor Sir Steve Smith Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive University of Exeter


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The support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation has given a powerful stimulus to the development of research and teaching in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter in the last 20 years. The Leventis postgraduate studentship has been a catalyst for growth in doctoral research in the department since 1997. The award of funding for the Leventis Initiative on the impact of Greek culture has brought a series of gifted younger scholars and students to Exeter and enabled innovative research on the influence of Hellenism in antiquity and later periods. Professor Christopher Gill, Leventis Grant Holder 2010-13, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought


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Timeline of your incredible generosity

1997

2002

2003

2004

2009

The Foundation’s first gift of £53,000, received in 1997, established the A.G. Leventis Foundation PhD Studentship programme at the University. The first studentship was held by Dr Arlene Allan between 1998-2001.

A further gift to support a second PhD studentship in Classics was gratefully received in 2002.

The Foundation’s generosity in 2003 provided funding to support a third studentship at the University of Exeter.

Exeter received support for a fourth A.G. Leventis Foundation Studentship in 2004.

Through the Foundation’s continued generosity, a further gift to support a fifth studentship was gratefully received in 2009.


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20 YEARS

2010 2010

2012 2012

2014 2014

2016

2017

A transformative A transformative gift gift of £300,000 of £300,000 waswas received received in 2010 in 2010 to establish to establish the the Leventis Leventis Initiative Initiative on on the the Impact Impact of Greek of Greek Culture Culture on on non-Greek non-Greek Culture. Culture. Dr Dr Myrto Myrto Hatzimichali, Hatzimichali, heldheld the the postpost between between 2010 2010 andand 2012. 2012. YourYour generosity generosity alsoalso provided provided funding funding to support to support a new a new two-year two-year postdoctoral postdoctoral fellowship. fellowship.

Further Further support support in 2012 in 2012 provided provided funding funding forfor a sixth a sixth A.G A. G Leventis . Leventis Foundation Foundation studentship. studentship.

Further Furthergifts giftstotaling totaling£263,000 £263,000 were werereceived receivedgratefully gratefullyinin 2014 2014totocontinue continuethe thesupport support ofofthe theInitiative Initiativeand andassociate associate lectureship, lectureship,together togetherwith with funding fundingtotosupport supporta aseventh seventh studentship. studentship.

The TheUniversity Universityreceived received £135,000 £135,000totosupport supportaanew new postdoctoral postdoctoralresearch researchpost post ininthe theDepartment DepartmentofofEarth Earth Sciences. Sciences.

The University of Exeter and the A.G. Leventis Foundation celebrate 20 year relationship.


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20 years of philanthropy The Leventis Initiative and Doctoral Studentships on the Impact of Greek Culture, and the Doctoral Fellowship in Earth Sciences have made a significant and crucial contribution to the academic life of the University, enabling world-class research and teaching to take place at Exeter at the highest level.

The on-going generosity of the Foundation provides vital opportunities for young researchers to gain experience of many facets of academic life and to establish themselves within their field. The support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation continues to enable us to work collaboratively with colleagues across the University, and with the wider community to develop and share our understanding. We are proud to share updates from a selection of Leventis recipients, detailing the impact of your generosity.


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Recipients supported

through the A.G. Leventis Foundation between 1998-2018 Dr Arlene Allan,

A.G. Leventis Postgraduate Scholar, 1998-2001 As the first recipient of the A.G. Leventis Foundation Studentship in 1998, it is both a privilege and pleasure to contribute to the celebration of the Foundation’s association with the University of Exeter’s Department of Classics. Certainly without this Studentship I would not have been able to pursue my PhD in Britain within such a distinguished department and gain the kudos that comes from being associated with a group of established (and emerging) scholars who are respected throughout the discipline for the excellence of their research. Over the course of my three years at Exeter, the funding provided by the Foundation allowed me to divide my time between teaching, research and extra-curricular activities in ways that enriched me both personally and professionally. The opportunities provided by the rich academic life both at Exeter and in the UK proved equally as important in my development as an academic. While the Leventis Studentship holder I presented six papers emergent from or related to my doctoral research at conferences held in a number cities throughout the UK.

Being the holder of the A.G. Leventis award has had a significant impact on my career. Having this award listed on my Curriculum Vitae generated immediate interest and certainly played a part in the receipt of my first academic post in 2001, even before I had completed the doctorate. When applying for my current position at the University of Otago in 2004, my status as a former recipient of this Studentship and my publication record, facilitated in large measure by the time and financial security afforded by this award, played an important part in the department’s decision to extend the job offer to me. I must extend my deepest gratitude to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for making this Studentship available as well as choosing to support the Classics postgraduate programme at the University of Exeter through this award. It has proved a most productive and beneficial association for me, as I’m sure it has been and will prove to be for all those chosen to pursue their PhDs through this Studentship within the Classics Department at Exeter. Thank you.


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Dr Christian Thrue Djurslev,

A.G. Leventis Postgraduate Scholar, 2012-15 Without the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation I would not have been able to further my education. Needless to say, I remain extremely grateful that the support of the Foundation allowed me to do just that, and to pursue my education at the University of Exeter in one of the most successful Classics departments in the UK. The subject of my research was the reception of Alexander the Great during late antiquity, and my thesis received high praise from the external examiner, Robin Lane Fox of the University of Oxford, an internationallyrenowned expert on Alexander. During my time at Exeter, I also gave two conference papers and completed an article for publication. Following the completion of my

PhD, I took up a Lectureship in Ancient Greek History at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, continuing the long tradition of Leventis Students at Exeter who have successfully made the transition into academic posts. This position is a great opportunity for me to progress into a permanent academic job and would not have been made possible without the support of the Foundation. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Trustees of the A.G. Leventis Foundation for all their support and also the many years of commitment to the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter.

Words cannot describe how grateful I am, and have always been, for the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation. It has allowed me to devote myself wholly to my doctoral research and given me so many great experiences, opportunities and personal relations, thank you. Dr Christian Thrue Djurslev, A.G. Leventis Postgraduate Scholar, 2012-15


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Taylor FitzGerald,

A.G. Leventis Postgraduate Scholar, 2014-17 I started my doctoral research as the holder of the sixth Studentship in 2014. My research is on the use of dynastic connections for constructions of imperial legitimacy under the Tetrarchic and Constantinian eras, from AD 285-366. It examines how these emperors created or manipulated past or present imperial relationships in their ideology, and how these relationships were viewed and reflected in a variety of media. As a student from the US, it would not have been possible for me to return to academia and to the UK in particular had it not been for the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and I am extremely delighted and thankful to have been able to do both. As my studentship draws to a close I now look towards the future but also reflect on all that I have achieved. Besides research and teaching, I have presented papers in a number of postgraduate seminars and in Exeter’s Postgraduate Humanities conference. I also gave a paper in the Late Antique Postgraduate Network’s workshop, ‘Conversions’, at Senate House in London, a delightful and rewarding experience. My time as an A.G. Leventis Scholar has been very challenging, yet significantly fascinating and memorable. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their kind and generous support.

Elisa Groff,

A.G. Leventis Postgraduate Scholar, 2015-18 Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for awarding me this prestigious studentship. My research aims to explore aspects related to female sexual health and reproduction looking at medical, religious and legal sources in sixthcentury Christianity. My research aims to develop a new understanding of ancient sexual health and reproduction, and its evolution in later times. This will unfold new paths for seminal research and teaching, and open more discussion to explore these themes. With the support of the Leventis Foundation, I have been able to bring my ideas and discoveries to a wider audience through a range of different forms of public engagement which has taken me beyond the academic environment of the seminar room and the lecture theatre. In 2016, I delivered a paper on aspects of late-antique medicine related to my research at the University Complutense in Madrid. I was also the chief editor of Pegasus, the departmental Journal of Classics and Ancient History throughout 2016. The generosity of the Foundation has provided vital opportunities for me, as a young researcher to gain experience of the many facets of academic life and to begin to establish myself within the academic arena. It is both an honour and an immense privilege to be a recipient of the A.G. Leventis Studentship.


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Dr Myrto Hatzimichali,

Leventis Initiative, Lecturer on the Impact of Greek Culture 2010-12 I was deeply honoured to be the first holder of the A.G. Leventis Foundation Lectureship in the Impact of Greek Culture at the University of Exeter. During my time at Exeter I delivered a full programme of undergraduate teaching, including initiating a third-year module on ‘The Impact of Greek Culture’, reviewing different aspects of the impact of Greek culture on other areas of antiquity. This module was chosen by a high number of both undergraduate and postgraduate students. I also organised the Classics Department weekly research seminar, which included in both academic years a large number of seminar papers by visiting and Exeter-based speakers on themes linked with the impact of Greek culture in antiquity and in later culture. In addition, at the annual Classical Association conference, held at Exeter in 2012, I was honoured to organise two panels on the Impact of Greek Culture, one focusing on the Hellenistic World and the East, and one on Roman literature. I moved to a permanent post of lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge at the end of the academic year 2011-12. My time at Exeter and the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation has been instrumental to my success and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Trustees for their kind and generous support.

Dr Daniel King,

eventis Initiative, Lecturer in L the Impact of Greek Culture, 2012 – current I would like to express my gratitude to the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their generosity in supporting my position as Leventis Lecturer in the Impact of Greek Culture at the University of Exeter. The generosity of the Foundation, particularly in relation to research funding, has provided me with a fantastic opportunity for further research without worrying about the difficulty of financing it. The funding has allowed me to participate more broadly in the academic community both in the UK and abroad. The teaching associated with the Leventis Initiative is focused on two Modules, ‘The Impact of Greek Culture’, and ‘The Reception of Greek Culture’. These modules have continued to operate successfully, attracting a consistently high number of highcalibre students, resulting in strong levels of student performance and engagement. In addition to this, I recently completed my monograph, which is concerned with ideas regarding pain in ancient Greek culture. This is the culmination of the last two years of research and represents a development from my doctoral thesis. I was extremely grateful when in 2016 my post was made permanent, thereby achieving the long-term aim of the Leventis Initiative by ensuring that the study of the impact of Greek culture will continue to be a prominent focus, none of which would have been possible without the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation.


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The A.G. Leventis Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Earth Sciences Starting this 2017-18 academic year, the A.G. Leventis Foundation provided support to fund a new three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Earth Sciences. This gift is providing vital funding to support Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Tom Powell, supervised by worldleading Professor Tim Lenton. The research titled ‘A quantification of the global potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through reversing past forest degradation’ aims to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change. The Leventis Foundation’s support for our work on the potential of forest regeneration to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has been instrumental in helping establish the importance of this novel method of tackling climate change. It has also provided invaluable support for a promising young researcher fresh out of their PhD, enabling them to build their early research career. Professor Tim Lenton, Chair in Climate Change and Earth System Science

Dr Tom Powell,

A.G. Leventis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences My research focuses on understanding and quantifying the influence of food production and other land uses on biogeochemical cycles like the global carbon and nutrient cycles, and on other ecological traits like biodiversity. I am also interested in trying to understand how land use practices and other elements of the food system might be adapted to form a more sustainable long-term relationship with the Earth system. Currently a major focus of this work is on the potential for reversing forest degradation in the tropics to boost carbon sequestration. I would like to thank the A.G. Leventis Foundation for their generous support. I am personally truly grateful and excited for this opportunity to pursue our mutual interest in developing a sustainable relationship between human societies and the Earth system; from a personal perspective your support is extremely valuable and comes at an important stage early in my career.


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Washington Singer, Streatham Campus.


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The ‘Leventis Room’ Amory building, College of Humanities In recognition of the Foundation’s significant support and to mark 10 years of support, the University named the Classics departmental library and meeting room in the Amory building the ‘Leventis Room’.

We were delighted to be joined by Mr Anastasios Leventis, Mrs Eleanna Leventis, and Mrs Edmee Leventis who met staff and students at a special naming event and carried out the joint unveiling of the plaque.

The ‘Leventis Room’ was named after Constantine Leventis, former director of the A.G. Leventis Foundation. It is thanks to Constantine’s support and approval and also his personal and professional passion and commitment to the classics, that the first donation from the Foundation was received by the University in 1997.

The Leventis Room remains a much-used focus for topical social events and seminars involving postgraduate students and academic staff and forms a key part of our communal life in the department.

The Leventis Room is at the very heart of the Classics Department, providing a space for students and academics to come together in discussion and debate, thereby continuing to significantly enhance their academic understanding. Professor David Braund, Head of the Department of Classics


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Chancellor Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE DL and Anastasios Leventis during the Foundation’s induction into the College of Benefactors.


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Induction into the

University of Exeter College of Benefactors In acknowledgment of the importance of philanthropy, the University of Exeter invites its most generous donors to become members of the prestigious College of Benefactors. Induction into the College is the highest honour that the University can bestow upon its donors. We were delighted that on 21 January 2012, Mr A.P. Leventis was enrolled into the University of Exeter College of Benefactors, on behalf of the A.G. Leventis Foundation during a special ceremony at the Winter Graduation. This enrolment reflected

the appreciation of the University at the support given by the Foundation to the Department of Classics and Ancient History. It was with great honour and pride that the A.G. Leventis Foundation became the 12th member of the College of Benefactors. The University public orator, Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, also commended the many other educational, community and environmental projects supported worldwide by the Foundation.


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Sharing the impact of Greek Culture Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is a world-leading department, and the A.G. Leventis Foundation has played a crucial role in enhancing its intellectual range and vitality. It is great to be able to bring together the department’s top researchers with members of the Leventis family, and Exeter alumni, to hear high quality talks. Professor Andrew Thorpe, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean (Humanities)

On 27 February 2013, we were delighted to hold the first public lecture event at the Hellenic Centre in Paddington, London. Professor Christopher Gill, Leventis Grant Holder and Professor Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, both from the Department of Classics and Ancient History, explored the role of money in human society, addressing modern problems in healthcare, and the background to the global financial crisis.

Following on from the success of the first event, the second public event at the Hellenic Centre was held in February 2015. This included lectures by Professor Matthew Wright, Professor of Greek, on the subject of lost and fragmentary Greek tragedies, and Dr Erica Rowan, Leventis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, on the impact of Greek food on Roman cooking practices, especially as illustrated by the material remains from the buried city of Herculaneum. Both events brought the work of the Initiative to a wider audience, including University of Exeter alumni, as well as members of the public.


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Thank You reception, Hellenic Centre, 2015.