I remember the excitement as we gathered to sign up for courses that long-ago September, 1966. As an English major, a foreign language was a requirement but my hesitation on the choice evaporated when I was told by the department chair, “Our Italian students can study in Rome junior year.” That was it. I walked into class my first morning and the professor greeted me with a wide smile: Dr. Victor Vari (also department chair, if I remember correctly!).
I studied Italian for two years with Dr. Vari and then headed off to Rome. Italia: amore a prima vista. That one wondrous year was not enough: i set my sites on returning senior year. Objection from my parents: no more Italy for now, graduate on time. Dr. Vari came through (we’d exchanged letters in those days): he would recognize my planned three months (Oct - Dec) at l’Universita’ per Stranieri In Perugia if sat the exams for il corso medio. Result? I could head back to Italy and graduate from SCU on time! Mille grazie, Dr. Vari!