Celebrating 50 Years of the Rome Studies Program April 2019

In April, over 240 alumni and friends gathered in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture’s Rome Studies Program.

Notre Dame’s Rome Studies Program has been enthusiastically supported by every leader of the architecture program for 50 years – through numerous changes in curriculum and faculty. Other American architecture schools have thriving Rome programs as well – regardless of style or philosophy, Rome draws people in this profession and everyone who studies there is marked by the experience in some way.

Wednesday, April 10

The first session of the academic conference - Architectural Education in Rome: A Plurality of Traditions - was opened by Rev. Richard Bullene, CSC '76 Academic Director of the Rome Studies Program and followed by a welcome from Tom Burish, Charles and Jill Fischer Provost.

Rev. Richard Bullene, CSC '76, Tom Burish & Michael Lykoudis

Michael Lykoudis, Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the School of Architecture, introduced the three speakers for the event, renowned architects Steven Holl, Barbara Littenberg and Demetri Porphyrios. Each made an opening statement addressing Why Rome? outlining their experiences in the Eternal City.

Steven Holl, Barbara Littenberg & Demetri Porphyrios

The evening concluded with a reception on the terrace at Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi overlooking the Roman Forum.

Thursday, April 11

The academic conference continued on Thursday morning with sessions from a wide array of leading experts.

Ezio Genovesi

The day began with a panel discussion on education in Rome featuring Fr. Bullene, Jeffrey Blanchard of Cornell University; Ezio Genovesi of the Rhode Island School of Design; and David Sabatello and Marco Martemucci of the Pantheon Institute. The panel was moderated by John Stamper of Notre Dame.

Next Sebastian Hierl, the Drue Heinz Librarian at the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library at the American Academy in Rome offered A View into the American Academy in Rome.

Michael Pippenger, Heather Hyde Minor and Krupali Uplekar Krusche

Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization at Notre Dame gave an overview of the work of Notre Dame International, while Heather Hyde Minor, academic director of the Rome Global Gateway, presented on How the RGG supports Research and Scholarship. Krupali Uplekar Krusche, the School’s Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work gave an overview of international architecture research.

Jean-François Lejeune of the University of Miami presented The Splendid Ordinary - Housing and the Continuous City in Rome.

William Bates, Tom Rajkovich, Melissa DelVecchio, Michael Manfredi and Martha Welborne

The final session of the conference was introduced by Tom Burish and featured five distinguqished alumni reflecting on the impact of Rome on their careers. William J. Bates, ‘75, Martha Welborne ‘75, Michael Manfredi, ‘75 and Melissa DelVecchio, ‘94 were moderated by Tom Rajkovich ‘83.

Members of the Class of 1971 and University officials pose with the bust of Frank Montana

The day ended with a reception at the Rome Global Gateway where current students met alumni and friends. Dean Lykoudis and Bill Ponko ‘71 unveiled a bust of Frank Montana, a gift of the class of 1971, the first class in Rome to commemorate Professor Montana’s role in the establishment of the Rome Studies Program.

Bust of Frank Montana
Alumni, friends and current students enjoying the Rome Global Gateway
The year in Rome is a defining characteristic of our program and it unites 50 years of graduates.

Friday, April 12

Alumni and friends spent Friday morning on excursions led by faculty and other experts, sites included Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, Santo Stefano Rotondo, Ostia Antica, Villa Lante and the Pantheon.

Friday concluded with a reception at the Rome Global Gateway where guests explored the exhibits including The Enduring Legacy of Frank Montana, featuring a collection of his work. Roma Cinquanta included photographs from 50 years of students in Rome. Cities in Text: Rome - A traveller's view of the Eternal City - this project, from the Historic Urban Environments Lab at Notre Dame (HUE/ND), launched at the celebration. It combines traditional library resources, such as archives and rare books, with new technologies to create innovative and exciting ways to study the built environment.

Much has changed at the School of Architecture in the 50 years since the program’s founding, but I hope that you might see that the important things have remained the same.

Saturday, April 13

Saturday morning was another time of exploration with excursions to Roman Forum, Castel Sant’Angelo, Quartiere Testaccio, Victor Emanuel Monument, EUR and Santa Maria della Pace among other locations.

The significance of Rome to the formation of an architect’s worldview, attention to architecture’s role in fostering a sense of humanity, respect for craftsmanship and details, and the desire to build in ways that celebrate and reinforce sense of community remain important factors in the education of our students. - Dean Michael Lykoudis

The event concluded on Saturday evening with a farewell reception at Casino Aurora Pallavicini.

It was a pleasure to see so many alumni, friends and Notre Dame officials, including Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves in Rome to celebrate this important moment for the School of Architecture. The School is grateful for the continued support of the University and of its alumni and all are invited to join us on campus on September 27-28, 2019 for Architecture Alumni Weekend or to visit the new Walsh Family Hall of Architecture any time.

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