The Italian American community, in partnership with Loyola University Chicago and Casa Italia, has raised $500,000 for a planned Italian American Studies program at Loyola. The centerpiece will be the hiring of an endowed professor within Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences to research, preserve and promote the Italian American experience, history and culture.
“The Italian American Studies program will educate students about fundamental cultural differences. They will gain an appreciation for the ways Italian Americans have enriched life in this great country,” according to Dr. Arthur Lurigio, senior associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola. “Loyola and the Italian American Studies Initiative Committee are deeply grateful to all those who fostered this successful effort.”
In 2012, Father Michael Garanzini, S.J. — Loyola’s former president and current chancellor — committed $500,000 from the University if the community could raise an equal amount by Dec. 31, 2015. Thanks to an anonymous lead donor, as well as the Columbian Club — which gave $50,000 — the goal was met six months early.
Dominic Candeloro, historian at Casa Italia and instructor at Loyola; and Anthony Fornelli, community businessman and philanthropist; as well as a committee of volunteers were instrumental in achieving the goal. “Loyola’s match will create an endowment to support a full-time professor who will promote permanently the study of Italians in America!” says Candeloro.