The History of the Fund
The Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) was established during the 1974 Pancretan Association of America (PAA) Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. An original fund-raising campaign was undertaken by PAA Chapters and individual members and the result as the creation of a $200,000 financial base for the Fund. Subsequent fund-raising efforts and prudent investing of the Fund’s capital by the PEF Trustees over the years spurred the growth of the Fund’s investment portfolio to make it one of the most valuable and viable expressions of the PAA.
Our Mission and Goals
The Pancretan Endowment Fund represents a unique link between Cretans in the United States and those in Crete, Greece. This connection between the two countries has been nurtured over the years to increase the likelihood that these peoples with a common heritage — both in the United States and in Crete — will continue to celebrate the Hellenic and Cretan identity and heritage which connect these two nations and their people. As such, the PEF is considered one of the most successfully run programs of the Pancretan Association of America.
The PEF is designed to assist the Universities of Crete by allowing them to enhance their educational faculties so that they may achieve equal status with American institutions of higher learning. This goal is achieved by providing educational programs, summer courses, internships, seminars, and bi-lateral student exchanges for the youth. In the process, the bonds of co-operation between the people in Greece and those living the United States are strengthened.
The main purpose of the PEF, as set out from the beginning of the Fund, is to establish and sustain beneficial programming for the University of Crete and the Polytechnical Institute of Crete. Within the scope of this general goal, the PEF promotes and supports various projects at these two institutions which include but are not limited to:
- Educational Programs
- Summer Courses
- Bi-Lateral Student Exchanges for American and Cretan youth
These programs are designed to promote stronger bonds and co-operation between the peoples of Greece and the United States, as well as to encourage Greek and Cretan youth to understand and appreciate Hellenic and Cretan ideals, identities, and the common national heritage the United States shares with them.