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Marist Celebrates Graduates at Florence Campus

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations

Photos by Nicolò Mari, @wedding_photography_in_tuscany.

May 30, 2023 — Commencement ceremonies at Marist span both sides of the Atlantic, and last week the College honored 12 students who received their bachelor’s degrees at a ceremony at Florence’s historic Palazzo Budini Gattai. Nearly all of the students completed their entire four-year program in Florence, where Marist has a branch campus in partnership with the Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) Institute.

“I’ve been extremely lucky to have found this program and to have spent the past four years in Florence,” said Francesca Leggio ’23. “With a small graduating class, we were able to have a beautiful and more intimate ceremony. My favorite part of the day was when the faculty spoke about each member of the graduating class — it was a moment when you could truly understand the close connections and lifelong bonds we made at Marist Italy and LdM.”

Marist President Kevin Weinman attended the ceremony, less than 48 hours after the undergraduate ceremony ended in Poughkeepsie, New York. He chronicled an eventful four years for these students, who chose to experience their college years in Italy.

“You all have much to be proud of. You said ‘yes’ to a thoroughly unique way to earn a degree from a US-based college, either with the original intent to be here all four years, or as ‘transfers’ of a sort from the Freshman Florence Experience program,” said Weinman. “Your decision might have been a leap of faith and involved some blind trust, both in Marist, and in yourselves. But as a result, you’re clearly now ready to work across cultures and borders, and you’re well positioned to find solutions and help create a brighter future.”





The Commencement also honored the College’s nearly 20-year partnership with LdM and celebrated the Institute’s 50th anniversary since its founding in 1973 as one of the first centers in Florence to specialize in teaching Italian as a foreign language. LdM is now considered a leader in international educational experiences and serves more than 3,000 students each year from around the world across its seven academic schools.

“The partnership between Marist and LdM is both distinctive and powerful,” said Weinman. “Few colleges Marist’s size have accredited branch campuses outside of the United States. This is only possible because of the hard work of so many. ”

President Weinman and Fabrizio Guarducci.

LdM’s founder, Fabrizio Guarducci, was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his work to create, grow, and elevate LdM into an internationally renowned educational institution.

The Marist Italy campus in Florence offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The offerings at the Florence campus have become one of the College’s most distinctive offerings and draw interest from students around the world who choose to either earn a degree in Florence or take advantage of the College’s branch campus for a study abroad experience that may last a year, semester or even a few weeks.

Florence is one of 75 study abroad programs offered by Marist, which has been recognized as having among the strongest study abroad options in the country, with its full academic year study abroad program ranking #1 in the nation in participation among U.S. master’s degree-granting institutions, according to the latest Open Doors report. 

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