The University of Nicosia School of Law awarded American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Board Member Dr. Van Coufoudakis the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa, October 11, 2018, as decided by the Senate of the University of Nicosia. The university’s academic leadership, various Cypriot academics, political leaders, students and friends of the honoree attended the ceremony held in Nicosia, Cyprus.
The Rector of the University of Nicosia, Professor Philippos Pouyioutas stated the award is the highest recognition granted to an individual for their contribution to the arts, sciences and to Cypriot culture. He went on to highlight Dr. Coufoudakis’ contributions to Cyprus and to the field of International Relations.
Further, Professor Achilleas Emilianides, dean of the School of Law, University of Nicosia, provided a detailed account of Dr. Coufoudakis’ academic contributions, in particular, his studies of Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations, and U.S. foreign policy.
In acceptance, Dr. Coufoudakis expressed his admiration for the university’s growth and development. He also discussed his involvement in the Cyprus problem since 1963 and commented on current developments in the UN-sponsored talks on Cyprus. Dr. Coufoudakis also spoke about what influenced his academic career and stressed how freedom of expression allowed him to partake in public affairs, much as Pericles asked citizens of democratic polities to do.
In closing, Dr. Coufoudakis addressed the risks democracies face with the rise of populism and called for adherence to honesty, hard work, and a commitment to democratic values and processes.
Following his retirement from the Indiana University system in 2002, Dr. Coufoudakis assumed the position of Rector at Nicosia’s Intercollege, the largest private four-year college in the Republic of Cyprus. His primary objectives were: the adoption by the legislature of the Republic of Cyprus of a law on private universities; the drafting of a strategic plan to bring Intercollege to university status; and the accreditation of its programs. Over a five-year period, these goals were met. Intercollege became the University of Nicosia, the largest and most prestigious of the Cypriot private universities.
“We congratulate Dr. Coufoudakis upon receiving this distinguished award from University of Nicosia School of Law,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “We are fortunate to benefit from Dr. Coufoudakis’ service on the AHI Board. For decades, he has been an asset to AHI’s mission, providing his expertise on international relations policy and matters.”