Hellenic Society at Baylor establishes itself as ‘the original Greek Life’

The Hellenic Society provides a place for Greek students to spend time in Greek culture, while forming long-lasting bonds with other students. Photo courtesy of Baylor Hellenic Society

By Sarah Gallaher | Staff Writer

The Hellenic Society at Baylor, established in fall 2023, celebrates Greek culture in an effort to create a community for students of Greek descent. Members participate in a variety of traditions, such as dancing and sharing meals together.

“Our main goal is to give people a community and build friendships and relationships,” Chicago junior and club vice president George Kolovos said.

Though the Hellenic Society consists mostly of Greek students, Houston senior and club president Dimitrios Gkinis said non-Greek students occasionally attend meetings and events to learn more about ancient and modern Greek culture. Kolovos called the Hellenic Society “the original Greek Life.”

“Even people who aren’t Greek, they still enjoy learning about dancing, learning about our language and history, since there’s so much to learn from,” Kolovos said.

Houston junior and club treasurer Dino Alexopoulos said the presence of Greek culture is often very strong in major cities like his hometown. However, after moving to Waco, Alexopoulos missed the community he grew up with — and joining the Hellenic Society let him experience those traditions.

“At my church back home, we always had a Greek Fest, and I was always one of the dancers,” Alexopoulos said. “It was a really great time, not just sharing our culture within the church, but having outsiders come in and see what we’re really all about.”

Though the Hellenic Society is only in its first year as an official organization, Gkinis said he wants to plan Greek nights and large-scale events. Alexopoulous also said he is ready to dance at Greek nights alongside his friends.

Along with fun outings, the Hellenic Society aims to educate students about Greek culture. According to the club’s website, the Hellenic Society offers “a unique blend of educational and cultural experiences.”

Gkinis, who is originally from Athens, knows ancient Greek after having studied it for five years. Additionally, Gkinis, Alexopoulos and Kolovos all know modern Greek.

To spread knowledge about Greek culture, the Hellenic Society plans to offer free modern Greek lessons weekly, eventually exploring the relationship between the modern dialect and its ancient and biblical origins.

“We’re raising the banner of Hellenism in Waco,” Gkinis said.

Although Waco seems like an unlikely hub for Greek culture, the Hellenic Society has garnered success and recognition in its first year. Gkinis attributed this success to the vibrance of Greek culture, which emphasizes hospitality.

“We’re very proud of who we are, and there’s a very concrete identity because we know who we are,” Gkinis said.

The Hellenic Society meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in Marrs McLean Science Building. Students interested in joining can contact the Hellenic Society board via its website or follow @bu_hellenicsociety on Instagram.

Sarah Gallaher is a sophomore from Seattle, Washington majoring in public relations with a minor in political science. During her first year on the Lariat staff, she hopes to help inform her fellow students about things happening on campus. Sarah plans to return to Seattle after graduation to pursue a career in corporate public relations.