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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Why Major in a Language?

Anne Robichaud, Italian Major, Class of 1970


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!