Skip to main content
HomePEF Programs
To add a link to the left side, click in the white space below the existing links.Use the link builder in the toolbar to add a link. The page will automatically style the links. To edit colors, edit the html, and change #4c4c4c and #a12422 to the colors you want. Be careful removing existing links. Don't backspace too far, it'd be better if you edited the html.


Two to three American students of Cretan descent who currently attend medical schools in the United States are eligible to participate in the summer internship program at the University of Crete in Heraklion.

This unique program, spearheaded by Professor Dr. Yiannis Melissas and backed by the Pancretan Endowment Fund, allows young aspiring doctors-to-be to live, work, and interact with the people of Crete for an extended period of time. It is hoped that this experience helps re-establish the students’ connections to the land and customs of their Cretan forefathers.


The rapid development of the island of Crete has had a very serious impact on its ecology. Very few areas are left untouched by the expanding population and influx of tourists. Even in the mountains and higher elevations, one can see the destruction of much of Crete’s native animals and their habitats. If expansion continues at this rapid pace – and indications are that it will – in a short span of time there will be little left of Crete’s pristine environment and wildlife.

Botanical Gardens to preserve a piece of this unique habitat and the wildlife it supports, the Polytechnical School, under the leadership of its past Rector Professor Yiannis Phillis, set aside 300 acres of land in the midst of Akrotiri for the purpose of creating a Botanical Park. The official name of this “green space” is the Park for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna of the Technical University of Crete.

The Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) has since supported this important effort financially by donating, over the years, more than $150,000. The Botanical Park is still in its infancy; however, in another 10 to 15 years the full beauty of Botanical Park will be realized. Hopefully, it will act as an inspiration and a beacon for environmentalists, professors and their students, tourists, and also locals of the region who simply wish to enjoy the rough beauty of nature which was, at one time, prolific in Crete.



The idea of a university press was first proposed to the Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) in the early 1980s by a group of professors, including the Rector at the time, Professor Gregory Sifakis, and President of the Research Center of Crete, Professor Lefteris Economou. As a result of these initial efforts, the dedication of Cretan leaders in Greece and America, and the generous funding of $500,000 from the PEF through its fundraising efforts within the Pancretan Association of America, the Crete University Press (CUP) was formally founded in 1985 and became the first such publishing house in Greece.

Under an agreement between the PEF and the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Crete University Press operates as an independent non-profit publishing house modeled after similar institutions associated with English-speaking universities. CUP’s publishing activities are based mostly on revenue from book sales (90%) and the remainder (10%) from annual support from PEF and FORTH.

Since its inception, CUP has published over 370 titles, textbooks, and other university level works created by professors from all over the world. It publishes, on average, 20 titles a year and approximately one million copies of these titles have been sold within Greece. As an important indicator of the esteem CUP has earned over the years, its titles are being used as the main tutorial textbooks in about 1,000 courses taught throughout Greek universities. In addition to books, CUP has produced a series of music records and CDs featuring local folk musicians and singers from all regions of Greece.

Today, CUP is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Greece. It is currently competes with the most well-established commercial Greek publishing houses for premiere assignments and publishing contracts. CUP’s publications have received many prestigious awards — including prizes from the Academy of Athens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, and the Greek Association of Music and Theater Critics.


CUP Presentation:
http:/ /


The University of Crete Summer Program, offers college level courses to students at the University and Polytechnical Institute of Crete during the summer months.


The courses are offered in English for credits which are fully recognized by many American and European Universities. The mission of the Program is to provide opportunities for American students to do more than just visit Crete: they learn to live among the people of Crete and within the culture of the island. For students of Cretan background, the University is a catalyst for reconnecting the youth to the heritage of their ancestors which encourages them to re-discover the land and culture of their parents and grandparents.


The Program has hosted students from all over the world, making the University of Crete an institution that is recognized by literally hundreds of universities in more than a dozen countries. The PEF has been a generous donor to the Programs and hundreds of students have had the benefit of attending courses within the Program and having a positive experience as a result.