Sharon Gerstel, director of the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, has been named a commander of the Order of the Phoenix, one of Greece’s highest honors. She was recognized for her contributions to the promotion of Hellenic culture.

“I am humbled by this distinction,” Gerstel said. “My love for the country runs very deep and my heart is with its people. I am thrilled to have made even a small contribution to the study of the country’s illustrious past and to share this honor with so many worthy Greeks and Philhellenes. It is my singular honor, as director of the UCLA SNF Hellenic Center, to promote Hellenism and to bring together intellectual and cultural communities in Southern California and Greece.”

Established in 1926, the Order of the Phoenix is awarded to Greeks who have distinguished themselves in the fields of public administration, science, commerce, industry and shipping, and the arts and letters. It is also conferred on non-Greek citizen who have contributed to enhancing Greece’s stature abroad in the aforementioned fields.

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