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Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies

About the Donors - The Ioannou Family

The Ioannou Centre, 66, St. Giles', Oxford

The creation of the Stelios Ioannou School for Research in Classical and Byzantine Studies at the University of Oxford is a result of the exceptional philanthropic commitment and generosity of the Ioannou family for which the University is most grateful.

The School is named in honour of the highly successful industrialist and philanthropist, the late Stelios Ioannou. The late Stelios Ioannou was born and raised in Cyprus and in 1940, as a young man, he co-founded the construction company Joannou and Paraskevaides (J&P). The company established an excellent reputation, extending its business activity overseas and attaining international recognition.


Mrs Ellie Ioannou with Lord Patten on the opening day. © Rob Judges 2007

With operations spanning more than six decades, today, J&P has entered into its third generation of successful international business. Mr Dakis Joannou and his son Christos, together with their partners, have consolidated the company's worldwide position in the Middle East, Cyprus, Greece and Eastern Europe, in the fields of construction, concessions, real estate development, hotel investments and energy projects.

The late Stelios Ioannou together with his wife Mrs Ellie Ioannou exercised a wide range of philanthropic activities. These include the Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation, a model centre for people with learning disabilities, established in the mid 1980s in memory of their son Christos, as well as the Saint Christopher's Home, an organisation, founded in the late 1990s, which aims to safeguard the dignity and quality of life for people with special needs.

The Ioannou family is represented on the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors by Mr Christos Ioannou, son of Mr Dakis Joannou and grandson of the late Stelios Ioannou, together with his cousin Mr Stelios Christodoulou.

The name of Mrs Ellie Steliou Ioannou, wife of the late Stelios Ioannou, is engraved on the Clarendon Arch alongside the names of Oxford's other great benefactors.

The Ioannou family are the founding benefactors of the School.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Plaque
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Plaque

The Byzantine Rooms within the building were also made possible by a generous benefaction from The Stavros Niarchos Foundation. A plaque commemorating the Byzantine rooms is proudly displayed in the entrance to the centre on the second floor.