Professor Jenifer Neils, Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, was invited by Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury, Connecticut to present a lecture on “The Parthenon: Then and Now” (October 22, 2019) during their inaugural “Macricostas Experience Week” to celebrate Greek culture.

The event honored Deno Macricostas and his family, who have spent nearly two decades supporting WCSU students through scholarships and learning opportunities at the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences. Macricostas also extends his philanthropy to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where he is an Overseer of the Gennadius Library. In 2018, the Macricostas Family Foundation named the Ioannis Makriyannis Wing of the Library, honoring General Makriyannis (1797–1864), a hero in the Greek War of Independence and a leading advocate of the constitution.

Neils, an international authority on Parthenon sculpture, delivered an engaging lecture that explored the history of the iconic, nearly 2500-year-old monument and its meaning today. John B. Clark, President of the University, was among the multitude that attended. In anticipation of the lecture, the dean of the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, Michelle Brown, shared with WCSU News, “Dr. Neils is the type of scholar we work hard to bring to WCSU. Our students will learn much from her extensive experience and scholarship, and we are happy to be able to open her lecture to the public, as well.”

Neils is an archaeologist, art historian, author, and professor. Formerly the Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts and the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, she served as Chair of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens from 2012 to 2017. As a field archaeologist, Neils has excavated in northern Greece (Torone), Tuscany (Poggio Civitate), and Sicily (Morgantina), and has published material from all of these sites. As an art historian, she has written extensively on the Parthenon sculptures, Athenian vase painting, and iconography.