Syracuse University in Florence has received a 10-million-dollar donation from a former alumnus, it was announced at a press conference held today at the school’s historic Villa Rossa, in piazza Savonarola.
The sizeable pledge has been made by Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello. Daniel attended the Syracuse Abroad Florence programme in 1966 and helped as a “Mud Angel” during the flood that damaged much of the city’s cultural heritage.
“Florence’s study-abroad programmes are not only important from a direct and indirect economic point of view, but also in terms of the cultural contribution that students and their families make,” commented Sasha Perugini, director of Syracuse University in Florence. “Many of these students choose to stay and live in our city, contributing endlessly in sharing and talking about the beauty of Florence.”
Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, thanked the American schools for their contribution to restarting the city’s economy after the lockdowns caused by the pandemic and reinforced Perugini’s message. “It’s important to give the right weight to the positive side of Florence’s study-abroad sector. Plus, we want to work on retaining this talent here…After all, if there’s an alumnus who is prepared to make a donation of this magnitude 40 years on, it says everything about the importance of their relationship with Florence.”
“This sizeable donation reflects the value and importance of the study-abroad experience in Florence,” remarked US Consul General in Florence, Ragini Gupta. “This year, the number of American students is estimated to return to pre-pandemic levels, that’s between 10 and 15,000…Every student who comes here creates a network of relationships and these relationships help to reinforce the bilateral relationship between Italy and the United States…Today’s donor wants to facilitate the study-abroad experience for other American students. This donation represents one of the most remarkable values of the American people: supporting the right causes with concrete means.”
The monies will be invested in scholarships for low-income and military veteran students as well as structural improvements to improve the accessibility of the six-building Syracuse campus.
Established in 1959, Syracuse University is the second oldest American university programme in Florence. It was founded after the Second World War to reinforce the relationship between Italy and the United States.