JCU Trustee Portia Prebys Donates Bequest of Author Giorgio Bassani to City of Ferrara, Italy

Italian writer Giorgio Bassani

Italian writer Giorgio Bassani

Long-time JCU Trustee and supporter, Dr. Portia Prebys, recently donated the bequest of Italian writer Giorgio Bassani to the author’s native city of Ferrara. Giorgio Bassani was the author of the internationally known masterpiece novel The Garden of the Finzi Contini. The donation, which includes 4,000 books, thousands of pages of bio-bibliographical information, personal memorabilia, and numerous works of art, became official at a recent ceremony at Ferrara’s City Hall.

Dr. Prebys was the author’s companion from 1977 until his death in 2000.The generous donation, known as the “Prebys Bequest,” will become part of the forthcoming Center for Bassani Studies, of which Dr. Prebys has been named honorary curator.

Director of the Rome Program of Saint Mary’s College as well as President of the Association of American Colleges and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI), Dr. Prebys has been a resident of Italy since 1966 when she was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to study Renaissance history. She received a doctorate in Letters honoris causa from John Cabot University in 2003. The President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano recently awarded Dr. Prebys the title of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for meritorious service to the nation of Italy and in recognition of her contribution to international education.

Watch the video (in Italian)