Loyola University Chicago

Giving to Loyola

Italian American Program

Preserving the Italian American Experience

“The Italian American studies program—along with other interdisciplinary programs—will educate our students about fundamental cultural differences. They will gain an appreciation for the ways in which Italian Americans have enriched life in this great country.”

Professor and faculty scholar; associate dean for faculty, College of Arts and Sciences; director, center for the advancement of research, training, and education

For over 140 years, Loyola University Chicago has educated young men and women to become well-rounded leaders with an appreciation for the multitude of human experiences and cultures. Reflecting the rich diversity of its hometown, Loyola offers several academic programs in ethnic studies like Polish American, Latin American, Asian, and African Studies and the African Diaspora. But there is one major omission in these offerings: Italian American Studies.

Loyola has many strong partnerships that will see this program to success. Loyola is partnering with Casa Italia—a cultural center and former seminary campus devoted to preserving Italian American history—to enable study, research, and outreach for students in the Italian American Studies program. This will allow our students ample opportunity to promote this important part of American history, increasing its visibility and preserving it for generations to come.

The storied John Felice Rome Center, one of the oldest study-abroad programs in Europe, offers a direct connection to studying in Italy. Finally, a true interdisciplinary environment; Italian American Studies will complement existing academic programs at Loyola related to Italian culture. Examples include the Italian major and minor, the minor in Italian language and literature, and the time-spanning minor in Rome Studies by rooting many related courses in a distinctive American experience. Italian American Studies also will integrate with course work in Public History, Urban Studies, and Sociology, giving students a holistic view of the Italian American experience.

The centerpiece of an Italian American Studies program would be an endowed, tenured professor who would research, preserve, and promote Italian American culture. With its location in a world-class city that is one of the centers of Italian American culture, prestigious academic reputation, and connection to Italy through its John Felice Rome Center, Loyola University Chicago is the ideal institution to host this professorship and program.