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MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Receives Donations from Il Circolo for Italian Studies

BOCA RATON (June 27, 2007) – The department of languages, linguistics and comparative literature in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters recently received two donations from Il Circolo for further development of the university’s Italian studies program.   The organization donated $10,000 for the Italian language program to be used for study abroad scholarships and for an annual Italian conference, and $3,000 for development of the university’s opera program.

Il Circolo, which is an Italian expression which literally means “the circle,” is a Palm Beach County-based organization that is dedicated to developing an awareness of Italian culture and to supporting Italian culture and arts.   The organization’s recent donation to FAU is the latest in a 21-year relationship between Il Circolo and the university.  

“We are very fortunate to have the support of Il Circolo,” said Myriam Ruthenberg, chair of FAU’s department of languages, linguistics and comparative literature.   “They have shown a true dedication to the furtherance of Italian culture and arts in Palm Beach County.”

Ruthenberg came to FAU through Il Circolo’s initial donation to the University. Recently, the president of the Republic of Italy gave Ruthenberg the title of “Cavaliere (knight ) dell’ Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta’ Italiana” in recognition of her efforts in support of Italian culture and protection of the interests of Italy.  

To date, Il Circolo has supported FAU solely in Italian language studies.   This recent donation to its music program is an effort to support development of FAU’s opera program.   The program has grown with the support of internationally-known opera star and FAU graduate Dean Peterson.   Further, a student in the program, Matt Daniels, recently won the Sarasota Opera competition.   

“FAU is able to offer Italian studies in a variety of disciplines,” said Dr. James Guttoso, president of Il Circolo.   “And they are able to showcase Italian culture to the community through opera performances and an annual conference.”

For further information about FAU’s Italian studies or music programs, call 561-297-3860.

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