Congratulations to John Cabot University Class of 2018!

Class of 2018

The Class of 2018 flanked by Dean Mary Merva (left) and President Franco Pavoncello (right)

The Class of 2018
John Cabot University celebrated the Class of 2018 at the 46th Commencement ceremony on May 14, held at Villa Aurelia on the Janiculum Hill overlooking the city of Rome. 180 students representing 31 countries received their degrees. The invocation was given by the Most Reverend Bernard Ntahoturi, Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

President Franco Pavoncello’s Welcome
JCU President Franco Pavoncello congratulated the members of the Class of 2018 and assured them that, thanks to the liberal arts education that they have received at JCU, they will be ready face the challenges of a rapidly changing world. “At JCU you have received an education that prepares you for continued studies or successful professional careers, while at the same time cultivating the passion for lifelong learning and the enthusiasm for engaged citizenship that fosters a free and democratic society,” said President Pavoncello. According to the President, these qualities are enhanced by JCU’s international setting. “John Cabot University, an American overseas university in Rome that attracts students from more than 70 countries is, paradoxically, a foreign place for each student, with no single specific group claiming ownership of the ‘Truth.’ At the same time, it is a place where all students immediately feel at home,” added President Pavoncello.

The President then introduced Sal Salibello, Chairman of the JCU Board of Trustees, who congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Board.

Honorary Degree to Fra’ John T. Dunlap
President Pavoncello proceeded to award the degree of Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, to Fra’ John T. Dunlap, senior member of the JCU Board of Trustees. Originally from Canada, Fra’ Dunlap has lived in New York City since 1986 and is a Partner in the law firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP.

From left: President Pavoncello and Fra' John T. Dunlap

From left: President Pavoncello and Fra’ John T. Dunlap

Deeply dedicated to charity and helping the needy, in 1996 Fra’ Dunlap joined the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which oversees hundreds of hospitals in some of the poorest countries of the world. In 2008, he made his Solemn Vows as a Knight of Justice, the first in the American Association of the Order to be given the title of Fra’, an abbreviation for the Latin word frater meaning brother.  In 2009, Fra’ Dunlap was elected to the Order’s Sovereign Council.  In conferring the degree, President Pavoncello said, “Your dedication to the improvement of the living conditions and health of the poor and the underprivileged sets an example of humanitarian concern and intelligent generosity. Your efforts are a splendid contribution to the promotion of universal understanding and goodwill.”

Fra’ Dunlap thanked JCU and reflected on the path that led him to where he is today. He underlined the importance of breaking boundaries, of expecting the unexpected, and never being afraid as “that is what will make you successful and lead you far in life.”  He concluded by urging the Class of 2018 to “be brave, never underestimate yourself and the people around you.”

See more Commencement 2018 photos on the JCU Facebook Page

President Pavoncello then introduced the Class of 2018 valedictorian Flavio Garinei, an Economics and Finance major from Rome with a grade point average of 3.99.

From left: President Franco Pavoncello and Valedictorian Flavio Garinei

From left: President Franco Pavoncello and Valedictorian Flavio Garinei

In his valedictory address, Flavio described his perception of JCU: “When I joined John Cabot, I found a warm, welcoming, intriguing and diverse environment, which was exactly what I needed to find the motivation to learn.” He thanked JCU professors, “who are also always willing to take extra steps to help and encourage students.”

Flavio urged his fellow students to cultivate their passions: “The world is waiting for your contribution, and you have acquired the precious skills to put your ideas into practice. Keep in mind what you have learned, but strive to keep an open mind, stay curious about the world, keep asking questions, and question the answers you get. Use your ideas to improve the world that surrounds you, and also use them to inspire others!”

Dean Merva Confers Degrees
Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Merva presented diplomas to graduates, who received their Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art History, Business Administration, Classical Studies, Communications, Economics and Finance, English Literature, History, Humanistic Studies, International Affairs, International Business, Italian Studies, Marketing, and Political Science.