Auburn University marks 10 years of Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program, Auburn’s only permanent overseas campus.

The College of Human Sciences established the program in the summer of 2002 to offer its students an integrated course of study that examines quality of life issues affecting individuals and families from a global perspective.

Students, who earn 16 semester credit hours and an international minor, become deeply immersed in Italian history and culture, as well as subjects more closely related to human sciences majors. Studies include a balance of lectures, field trips and other hands-on experiences designed to enrich the students’ knowledge base, ultimately producing better employees and world citizens.

University officials, including Provost Timothy Boosinger, Associate Dean of Libraries Marcia Boosinger, and June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences, attended the celebration at the Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, Italy. Other participants included Linda Ruth, executive director of the study abroad program and Joseph S. Bruno Chair; Marilyn Bradbard, director of international programming for the College of Human Sciences; Jera Stribling, executive director of the Joseph S. Bruno Charitable Foundation, and several Auburn faculty, friends and students enrolled in Auburn Abroad program in Italy.

The gala event began with the unveiling of a donor board to recognize those whose generous support has made the program possible, including the multi-million dollar endowment from the Joseph S. Bruno Charitable Foundation.

The donor board, which is located in the area of the Chigi Palace that serves as the campus for the study abroad program, is designed to resemble six mountains and a star, symbolic of the Chigi coat of arms commissioned by Pope Alexander VII, a member of the Chigi family.

Ariccia resident Mary Lou Gray was also recognized for her significant role in the program and her contributions as a donor and a lecturer since the founding in 2002.

In the master hall of the palace, Francesco Petrucci, director of the Chigi Palace, and Maurizio Antonini, the program’s resident director, welcomed the more than 120 guests and recognized the contributions of both Auburn faculty and the Italian professors who support the academic program.

Internationally acclaimed soprano Giovanna Manci provided operatic entertainment at the Italian banquet which culminated with the cutting of an anniversary cake to celebrate Auburn University’s partnership with the City of Ariccia and the Palazzo Chigi.

Harriet Giles, director of external relations for the College of Human Sciences, describes Ariccia as a charming hill town south of Rome located in Italy’s Castelli Romani region.

“It is a small vibrant community that provides its citizens with a wonderful quality of life, visitors with warm hospitality and Auburn students with a rich heritage steeped in centuries-old tradition,” said Giles.

(Written by Amy Weaver)

Contact: Harriet Giles, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-3241 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (