I had the amazing opportunity to accompany 21 special guests, along with President and Mrs. Clements, to visit the School of Architecture’s villa in Genoa, Italy last month. It was an incredible trip that allowed the group to see firsthand the transformational educational and cultural opportunities available to our students at the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies.
We were joined by a number of villa “alumni,” who were glad to see the continuing success of our program, along with several guests who saw the villa for the first time. Also joining us for this special trip was Susan McClure, widow of Dean Emeritus Harlan McClure. I know the trip provided some special memories for Susan.
In addition to seeing student work, touring the villa and a walking tour of Genoa led by one of our local adjunct faculty members, Giuditta Poletti, we visited Pisa, Florence, Santa Margherita, Carrara and Portofino. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to a marble quarry and the Michelangelo sculpture studio in Carrera. We were all amazed at the scale of the operation and the remarkable work of the sculpture artists.
The villa students, led by faculty-in-residence George Schafer, provided us with an insight into their projects one afternoon and we were able to spend time talking with them about their work. We also were treated to a special party, hosted by the administrative director of the villa, Silvia Siboldi Carroll, which featured local Ligurian cuisine prepared by our resident staff. It was a memorable night, and I am grateful to all for making this a special occasion.
At the villa party on Friday evening, a gentleman introduced himself as a professor of mathematics at the University of Genoa. The professor’s family lived nearby, and heard that there were American students occupying the villa. Some thirty years ago he knocked on the front door of the villa and asked if anyone there could teach him English. It so happens that Chris Tedesco, a student at the time (and wife of current faculty member Rob Silance), answered the door and agreed to tutor him. Chris and Rob have kept up with their Genovese friend over the years and I was thrilled to hear the story.
You will be happy to know, especially our villa “alumni,” that our students continue to do amazing work in Genoa and our faculty are providing outstanding educational opportunities that continue to distinguish a Clemson architecture education through our Fluid Campus program.
A big thanks to architecture alumnus and president emeritus of the Clemson Architectural Foundation, William H. “Bill” Pelham, AIA,, for the terrific photos!
In closing, a special note of congratulations to Pamela Robinson, Clemson alumna and current member of the Humanities Advancement Board, for being named the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Lawyer of the Year. Congratulations, Pam – we are proud of your accomplishment!
With best wishes from campus,
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