As a tribute to the success and achievements of one of their own, Greeks from the island of Crete will dedicate the public square in the town of Meskla to Dr. Constantine Papadakis, the late Drexel University president. Meskla is the birthplace of the Papadakis family. The town is located near the city of Chania. The tribute will take place on Saturday, July 24. His wife, Eliana, and their daughter, Maria, will be in attendance.
A memorial service by the Archbishop of Crete Irineos at the 14th century byzantine church of Panagia will mark the start of the event. Following church services, government officials will name the town square in memory of Papadakis and the PanCretan Association of America will unveil a bust of Papadakis created by sculptor Zenos Frudakis. The celebration will conclude with an authentic Cretan “glendi” or party featuring Cretan music, plenty of food, wine and dance performances by troupes from Crete and the U.S.
Papadakis, who served as president of Drexel from 1995 until his death in April 2009, was known in the national academic community as an innovative leader who transformed a struggling institution into a comprehensive, top-ranked national research university.
During his tenure, the University made the remarkable addition of both a medical college and a law school. The creation of the Drexel University College of Medicine as a successor to Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University saved 13,000 jobs and the education of 3,000 medical and nursing students and kept intact a key academic medical resource for Philadelphia. In addition to the medical college, the acquisition brought the College of Nursing and Health Professions and School of Public Health to Drexel. Just four years later, in 2006, Drexel became the first top-ranked doctoral university in the country to open a law school in more than 25 years.
Papadakis was the only Greek-born president of a university in the United States. He was born in Athens on February 2, 1946, to Nicholas Papadakis, a Greek physician, and Rita Masciotti Papadakis, a native of Italy. In his lifetime, Papadakis received more than 153 awards and honors.
For more information on Papadakis and his legacy, visit: http://www.drexel.edu/papadakis/
For more information on Meskla in Crete, Greece, visit: http://www.crete.tournet.gr/en/component/content/article/47-chania/4350-meskla
News media contact: Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau
215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org