Professor Polemitis was a pioneer of higher education in Cyprus
The University of Nicosia (UNIC) expresses its deep sadness on the passing of Professor Andreas Polemitis, who played a foundational role in the University’s development and was a pioneer of university education in Cyprus.
Professor Polemitis passed away on the evening of December 15, 2022, after a four-week battle with Covid, on the eve of his 80th birthday.
In 1981, Professor Polemitis founded the Indiana Education Center (IEC), offering degree programs with the University of Indianapolis, based on his vision that Cyprus needed a domestic university. IEC later merged with Intercollege and, over the next 40 years, in his role as Academic Dean of Intercollege and Senior Vice Rector of the University of Nicosia, Prof Polemitis dedicated his life to the academic development of university education in Cyprus.
UNIC is now the largest university in Cyprus and one of the top-ranked research universities in the world. Beyond UNIC, Cyprus universities, in aggregate, now enroll nearly 40,000 students, produce significant research output, and account for about 5% of Cyprus’ GDP. It is accurate to say that the vision and determination of a very small group of people in Cyprus, of which Polemitis was one, have changed the pathway of the country.
UNIC Rector Professor Philippos Pouyioutas commented “Professor Polemitis was a visionary academician combining extraordinary intelligence and wisdom with a humble and kind personality. He was highly respected and very much loved by every member of our community. His vision, hard work, and love for our organization provided foundation stones for the establishment of our University and his immense contribution to the success of our University is undeniable. He has been one of the few people who had a vision for university education in Cyprus since the 1980s and our country owes him a lot for his extraordinary achievements.”
“Besides his family, the University of Nicosia was the great love of his life. I am comforted that he was able to work on what he loved until the last weeks of his life”, mentioned Antonis Polemitis, UNIC CEO.
Professor Polemitis was born on December 16, 1942, in Limassol. He studied Business Administration and Economics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the American University of Beirut and received his Doctorate in Business Administration from Indiana University. Before founding the Indiana Education Center, he served as Director of Finance and Planning for G. Paraskevaides Ltd and Principal Planner for the Division of State Planning of the State of Indiana. In addition to the University of Nicosia, he has taught at Indiana University, IUPUI, the University of Indianapolis and Intercollege.
Prof Polemitis was awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of Indianapolis in 2002. He has also served as the President of the Cyprus Society of Sciences and was a Fulbright Scholar, James Edwards Fellow, and Eastman Kodak Scholar.
Professor Polemitis is survived by his wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandson and sister.
His funeral service will take place today Monday, December 19 at Ayia Sofia Church in Strovolos, Nicosia at 11 am, followed by his interment at St. Nicholas Cemetery in Limassol at 2 pm.
In the interest of everyone’s safety, the family requests that all those attending the ceremony wear masks indoors and will not be accepting condolences. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations are made to PASYKAF (The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends)