The American University of Rome celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2021 on the evening of May 21st, 2021. Four years ago, an internationally diverse group of individuals arrived on the AUR campus with dreams of Rome and a passion for knowledge and experience. During their time at AUR, that cohort became a close community of global scholars that not only pursued and surpassed their original goals, but also did it in the context of the global pandemic. The Class of 2021 was truly amazing, showing tremendous resilience, courage and grace. There is little doubt that these graduates will go on to lives and careers of purpose; they have it within them to change the world. 

Joining the commencement ceremony was actor, writer, and producer Stanly Tucci. Nominated by the faculty of the university, and subsequently unanimously agreed by the Board of Trustees, Mr. Tucci beamed in live to the virtual ceremony to accept the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa.  

Wearing the traditional graduation cap, gown, and doctoral hood, Tucci spoke to the global audience of students and parents of his childhood in Florence and his unconditional love of Italy and all things Italian.  

“Traveling to a country with a history as complex as Italy’s should perhaps be a requirement for all students, no matter what subject they have chosen to study”, Tucci stated, “I am so excited that you have all had the opportunity to be educated at this esteemed institution in that astonishingly beautiful and influential country.”  

In his laudation address, President of The American University of Rome, Dr. Scott Sprenger, spoke of Tucci’s role as a global ambassador for Italian life and culture, both through the recent CNN hit TV show, Stanley Tucci: Discovering Italy, which Tucci described as a ‘love letter to the place where my family is from’, but also through his books, films, and stage work. “This obvious passion for the history and culture of Italian cuisine, the art of cooking, and rituals of the table reaches deep into your childhood and Italian family roots and is a thread that runs through your life’s work” Sprenger declared as he presented Tucci with his honorary doctorate.  

The American University of Rome is proud to welcome Mr. Tucci into the AUR global community and, while we say goodbye to our graduating class with a mixture of sorrow and joy, we are absolutely certain that they will carry Rome and AUR in their hearts forever.  

You can view a recording of the commencement ceremony below.