The Greek language and culture are a continuum that stretches back more than 4,000 years. Greek is one of the two oldest living languages on the planet. But endurance is the least of the Greek accomplishments. The inhabitants of that small, rocky peninsula we call Hellas have given to the world countless gifts of beauty and intellect. Among those that have had the most impact on the life of the modern West are the concept of democracy, systematic philosophy, modern medicine, geometry, the atomic theory, principles of mathematics, architecture and an artistic aesthetic centered on the human form. The New Testament and early Christian theology were products of the Hellenic world, and the Byzantines have left us a paradigm of public philanthropy, respect for art and learning, and reverence for things of the spirit.
Once the powerful debt owed by the modern West to its Hellenic forebears was well understood: "Classics" were the core of every university curriculum, and every well-educated person was conversant with Greek philosophy and letters. Our Founding Fathers were such men, and they consciously chose from the riches of Classical tradition to formulate the identity of their new democracy.
If it sometimes seems today that the West is suffering from a dearth of inspired leadership, perhaps we need look no further than the trend our educational curriculum has taken, at the inroads multiculturalism and vocational training have made into the old ideal of the educated person as a humanist and a citizen. Now more than ever, the world needs to hear the ancient injunction, "Know thyself."
AFGLC members are convinced that the quality of world leadership tomorrow depends upon the quality of the educational curriculum today. If we want to assure the future a leadership with a firm understanding of the human adventure, of the origins of democracy and the philosophical underpinnings of Western thought, we believe today's education must begin with a study of the Greek experience. Since the expertise of its own founders (some 400 collective years in the educational field) was concentrated in higher education, the mission of AFGLC likewise concentrates on the university level curriculum.
Thus AFGLC is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Greek culture and language in the curriculum of institutes of higher learning in the United States, even as its parent organization, IFGLC, pursues the same goals worldwide.