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Synopsis of the HIP

The Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass (HIP) was founded in 1980 to remember and honor the ancient Hellenic principles and to encourage such standards in our changing, modern civilization. The HIP commemorates Hellenism rather than a geographic area.

This 501c3 IRS approved charitable corporation is governed by an executive committee, which is charged with overseeing its efforts.

For the past 30 years these efforts have included an annual public event. One purpose of the event was to present an award to the Bluegrass person who best exemplified these ancient Hellenic ideals. During the year prior to each event, individuals were nominated and defended in writing and debate by an HIP selection committee. The members of this committee changed each year. Edith Hamilton's, The Greek Way, was required reading for all involved in this process. Ultimately, the committee selected the single candidate deemed most worthy.

That individual's life was celebrated during an impressive program held each fall. Distinguished lecturers and various dramatic and musical performances were presented to enthusiastic audiences.

Other HIP efforts include special lectures at area high schools, institutions of higher learning, and civic groups. Banquets, government meetings, an essay contest on Democracy, and presentation of a college scholarship add to the overall community service by this organization. Our Ancient Hellenic Study Abroad program for undergraduate students is IN ITS TENTH YEAR.

IN 2010, THE HIP BEGAN A PROGRAM WITH THE LEXINGTON FAYETTE PUBLIC LIBRARY. This program will both purchase Hellenic educational materials for the library and send library employees to Greece on study trips.

In 2010, the HIP Board took a bold new direction that necessitated changes from the way things had been done in the past. One decision made was to discontinue the Annual Award. However, there were several persons who had figured prominently in nominations over several years and deserved recognition. Therefore, the Board established the Founders' Award, to honor this category of distinguished Bluegrass citizens.

IN October of 2010, the HIP held its first of the new generation of events. A lecture was held in conjunction with the University of Kentucky School of Law and shows promise as the template for future collaborations with other with other educational and/or civic organizations.

Those involved in the HIP represent a broad cross section of the cultural, religious, social, ethnic, and racial composition within the Bluegrass.

Phenomenal growth in the number of activities and community involvement mark the first 30 years of the HIP. Awareness of Ancient Greek values has become a daily companion to 21st century Bluegrass culture.