Anna Psarouda-Benaki


Alumna Profiled: Anna Psarouda-Benaki
Graduated: PIERCE '52
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: Member of the Academy of Athens

"Be tolerant."

ANNA BENAKI (PSAROUDA) was born in Athens in 1934 and graduated from Pierce in 1952. She studied law in Athens (1952-1957), did post-graduate work in criminal law in Germany and received a Ph.D. from the University of Bonn (1962). Back in Athens she practiced law 1962-2002 as a member of the Athens Bar Association, and was an associate and later full professor (1972-2002) of criminal law in the Law School of Athens University. She was involved in politics since 1981 with the conservative New Democracy party, and she was elected to Parliament from 1981 to 2009, representing central Athens. She served as minister of culture (1990-1992), minister of justice (1992-1993) and in 2004 she was elected the first woman president (speaker) of the Hellenic Parliament, a position she held until 2007. Anna Benaki has also served as a legal expert for the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights and has been a Member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (2007-2009). In 2010, she was elected a full member of the Academy of Athens. She has published several books and numerous articles and she is editor-in-chief of the oldest Greek Criminal Law Review.


Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at PIERCE?

To work hard

To be sincere

To support my position with firmness.

Q.: Describe PIERCE in three words.

In my time, a pioneer school in education and in training in democracy.

Q.: What is one of your favorite PIERCE memories?

The extra-curricular cultural activities.

Q.: What do you miss most from your days at PIERCE?

My classmates.

Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?

The balcony with the view of the sea.

Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?

Eva Kessisoglou: patient, understanding, cheerful.

Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?

With many, in yearly class meetings.

Q.: Did having studied at PIERCE help you during your later studies and beyond?

Enormously! It especially helped my way of thinking and making research. And, of course, the good Greek and English I learned were an enormous help.

Q.: What's the greatest piece of advice you've ever received?

Think before you speak.

Q.: What (or who) inspires you?

Non ministrari, sed ministrare

Q.: Your motto in life?

Be tolerant.

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