Commencement 2017: Special Guests Simonetta Di Pippo and Milena Gabanelli

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John Cabot University is pleased to announce the special guests for the 2017 Commencement Ceremony, astrophysicist Simonetta Di Pippo and journalist Milena Gabanelli.

Commencement Speaker: Simonetta Di Pippo

Simonetta Di Pippo

Simonetta Di Pippo

Simonetta Di Pippo is the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), which is mandated to enhance international cooperation in space activities to promote their use for humanity. Prior to joining UNOOSA in 2014, she was Head of the European Space Policy Observatory at Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) in Brussels. Ms. Di Pippo also served as Director of Human Spaceflight of the European Space Agency from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Observation of the Universe at ASI from 2002 to 2008, where she started her career in 1986.

Ms. Di Pippo holds a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from University “La Sapienza” in Rome and a honoris causa Degree in Environmental Studies from St. John University. Ms. Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006. In 2008, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 21887 “Dipippo” in honor of her contribution to space activities.

John Cabot University will confer upon Ms. Di Pippo a Doctorate honoris causa in International Relations.

Honorary Degree Recipient: Milena Gabanelli

Milena Gabanelli

Milena Gabanelli

John Cabot University will also have the honor of conferring a Doctorate in Humane Letters, honoris causa, to renowned Italian journalist Milena Gabanelli.

Ms. Gabanelli is best known for her 20-year career as author and anchorwoman of Report, Italy’s most successful investigative journalism television program. She is credited with introducing video journalism to Italy in the early 1990s, shooting, editing, and presenting her own videos for Italian television. As a war correspondent, she covered conflicts all over the world, including ex-Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Chechenia, Mozambique, and Somalia.

“We are delighted to celebrate JCU’s largest graduating class in the presence of two extraordinary Italian women who are a source of pride for the country and for the international community. Their professional life is an example for all of us,” said Dr. Franco Pavoncello, John Cabot University President.

Class of 2017

The Class of 2017, with its 206 students representing 30 countries, is the largest in JCU history. The University’s 45th ceremony will take place on May 15 at the Villa Aurelia on the Janiculum Hill overlooking the city of Rome.

Learn more about Commencement at John Cabot University.