Watch highlights from the event in the video above.

An Evening to Remember

Palazzo Vecchio is not only Florence’s City Hall—it is the very heart of Florence. That is why it was fitting for Middlebury to hold its 50th Anniversary Celebration of the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Italy at Palazzo Vecchio on the evening of October 11, 2011.

More than 100 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the school began the evening in the Sala d’Arme for a program that included welcoming remarks from Rosa Cuda, director of the School in Italy; Jeff Cason, dean of international programs at Middlebury; and Michael Geisler, vice president for Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and graduate programs.

An Appreciation from the Mayor

The Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, joined us for the program and emphasized the importance of Middlebury's pioneering role as one of the first colleges and univeristies to establish a site abroad in Italy after the war. He expressed his pleasure that the City of Florence and Middlebury have enjoyed such a long and positive relationship and looked forward to even greater cooperation in the next 50 years.

Honoring Leonardo Ferragamo

Following Mayor Renzi’s remarks, Vice President Geisler honored Leonardo Ferragamo for his leadership and vision in preserving Florentine culture and arts for the people of Florence and the many young people who study abroad there. Chief executive officer of Palazzo Feroni Finanziaria S.p.A, a holding company of the shoe and luxury good dynasty Salvatore Ferragamo, Leonardo Ferragamo is also president of the Associazione Partners Palazzo Strozzi, which supports Florence as an important center of international art and culture.

The celebration continued in the 712-year-old courtyard of the original Medici mansion that is at the center of Palazzo Vecchio. Faculty connected with former students and old friends shared their passion for the Italian language and culture they came to know during their study abroad experience at the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Italy.
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