bernardino telesio statue
Bernardino Telesio, a 16th century philosopher from Cosenza, Italy, is the inspiration behind a new professorship in Italian Studies. Shown is Telesio’s statue in front of Teatro Comunale Rendelli in the center of old town Cosenza, photographed by Dr. Daniele Struppa in summer 2021.

Chapman University President Endows Bernardino Telesio Professorship in Italian Studies The $1 million legacy gift will ensure a strong future for the study of Italian language and culture at Chapman.

Daniele C. Struppa, Ph.D., 13th president of Chapman University, has created a $1 million legacy gift for Chapman. He has designated the Italian Studies program of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy that, upon his passing, will endow the Bernardino Telesio Professorship in Italian Studies.

Following the creation of the Sebastian P. (Paul) and Marybelle Musco Chair in Italian Studies, and the recent Musco Endowment for Travel Courses in Italian Studies, this new gift ensures an even stronger future for the study of Italian language and culture at Chapman University.

In making his gift, Struppa thanked Paul Musco, who first invested in the Italian Studies program almost 15 years ago and has supported the program continuously since then. Struppa also expressed his admiration and support for Professor Federico Pacchioni, who leads the program with “enthusiasm, intelligence and a great sense of vision.”

Continuing the Legacy of the Italian Renaissance

Daniele C. Struppa, Ph.D., president of Chapman University
Daniele C. Struppa, Ph.D., president of Chapman University

Above all, Struppa wants to share his love for Italian culture.

“I still believe that everything I have achieved in my life has been due to my parents and to the kind of education that I received in Italy – an education based on hard, consistent work, and that even hundreds of years later, still displays its connection with the great Italian humanists of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. It is this legacy that I intend to honor with my gift,” he stated.

The fellowship is named after Bernardino Telesio, a 16th century philosopher from Cosenza, in Calabria. While he was a professor of geometry at the University of Calabria, Struppa co-founded the International Association Bernardino Telesio, which was devoted to the internationalization of research carried out at the University of Calabria.

“Now, after so much time, I still remain indebted to Calabria for giving me the happiest of my years, and for allowing me to learn from its great minds,” Struppa said. “Among those minds Telesio has remained an inspiration that still guides me in my scholarly reflections.”

Expanding Opportunities for Italian Studies

In response to this news, Professor Pacchioni, Ph.D., stated: “This is a truly wonderful gift that will allow us to keep building upon the exceptional foundation already in existence and enable us to open even more doors to Italy for Chapman students. Given President Struppa’s deep personal and professional connection with Italian humanistic and scientific heritage and with Telesio’s thought in particular, his legacy gift carries a profound meaningfulness that will serve our program as an intellectual compass in future years.”

“President Struppa’s extraordinary gift to the Italian Studies program ensures a robust future for one of the college’s signature programs and for the liberal arts overall at Chapman.” said Jennifer D. Keene, Ph.D., dean of Wilkinson College

Sheryl Bourgeois, Ph.D., the university’s executive vice president and chief advancement officer, shared her gratitude for the gift, but was not surprised about its focus. “President Struppa has shared his love of Italian culture with the Chapman Family since he first came to the university in 2006,” she said. “The significance of including Chapman University in his legacy plans is a true indicator of his esteem for and commitment to Chapman.”

 

Staci Dumoski