Classics department selects new endowed chair

Alexandra Pappas has been selected by the Department of Classics to be the first endowed Raoul Bertrand Chair in Classics. Currently a fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., Pappas will join SF State this fall as an assistant professor.

A photo of Center for Hellenic Studies Fellow Alexandra Pappas.

Alexandra Pappas

Pappas will teach courses in Greek and Latin language, Greek art and archaeology and courses on Greek and Roman culture.

"Dr. Pappas is a dynamic teacher who is sure to attract new students to study ancient Greece, Rome and the broader Mediterranean," said classics Chair David Leitao. "Her exciting interdisciplinary research will help keep the classics department at the cutting edge of humanities in the 21st century."

Pappas has an extensive background in Greek poetry, art and archaeology as well as word and image studies. Although currently in residence at the Center for Hellenic Studies, she has also been an assistant professor in ancient Greek at the University of Arkansas since 2006 and is completing a book titled "Graphic Art: Alphabetic Images in Ancient Greece."  She was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her bachelor's degree in classics from the University of Oregon.

Having grown up on the West Coast and with family in the Bay Area, Pappas praised SF State for its diverse student body, its enthusiastic faculty, its history of promoting social justice and the reputation of its graduates. "I've been looking forward to a homecoming like this for a long time," Pappas said.

The endowed chair is named after the late Raoul Bertrand, who taught classics at SF State from 1958 to 1999. Following his death in 2007, Bertrand's estate donated $1.41 million to the University, 80 percent of which will fund the endowed chair in classics. The remainder will fund scholarships and other department expenses.

-- Jonathan Morales