Webster Athens Welcomes John F. Kennedy School of Law at National University for ‘Trial of Socrates’ Discourse

Academics, students and professionals stand on the rooftop garden of Webster Athens with the Acropolis in the background.Academics, students and professionals from the John F. Kennedy School of Law at National University, based in San Diego, California, along with actor Yiannis Simonidis (center), Webster Athens Rector Vasilis J. Botopoulos, Vice Rector of Academic Affairs Susie Michailidis (right), and Hellenic Studies Program Director Niki Stavrou (second to the right after Simonidis) pose for a commemorative photo on the roof garden of Webster Athens Cultural Center in Placa, Athens, with the Acropolis in the background. Photo Credit: James Rogers (National University) 

A “Trial of Socrates” academic discourse recently took center stage at the Webster Athens Cultural Center – bringing together students and scholars from both Webster Athens and the John F. Kennedy School of Law in San Diego. Students, faculty and staff from National University visited Webster Athens and attended the event in conjunction with a travel/study course which focuses on the “Trial of Socrates.” 

The discussion, which delved into the 399 BC trial of the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, aimed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the trial. Academics, professionals and students participated in vibrant discussions that not only revisited the historical significance of the trial, but also explored its relevance in today’s global context – specifically its implications for modern legal and ethical frameworks. 

The discourse featured several experts who spoke about the “Trial of Socrates,” including Yiannis Simonides. Simonides’ work as an actor, director and producer with Elliniko Theatro has led him to perform the acclaimed play “Socrates Now” in over 50 countries, giving him a unique viewpoint of the historical trial. His presentation was not just an academic lecture but included a performance which brought the historical context and intricacies of Socratic thought to life. Students conversed with Simonides to gain a deeper understanding of the historical, philosophical and cultural dimensions of Socrates’ trial. 

Lisa Hutton, dean of the College of Law and Public Service at National University, along with Chris Gus Kanios, professor of law at the John F. Kennedy School of Law and president of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, attended the event. Hutton and Kanios played key roles in the organization of the discourse. Professor Bryan Hance, innovative director of paralegal and pre-law studies; James Rogers, director of advanced student experience; and Tina Stallone, director of dean support, all from National University, also attended.  

The “Trial of Socrates” event was hosted by Vasilis J. Botopoulos, rector of Webster Athens; along with Susie Michailidis, professor and vice rector of academic affairs and Niki Stavrou, hellenic studies program director, assistant professor, and CEO of Nikos Kazantzakis Estate. 
“This discourse served as a bridge for cultural exchange between the academic communities of the United States and Greece, fostering a mutual understanding that transcends geographical and disciplinary boundaries,” Botopoulos stated. “These types of interactions reflect Webster’s commitment to fostering global citizenship and collaborative approaches to universal challenges.” 

Related News