On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, The American University of Rome (AUR) proudly honored two former board members, Ms. Agatha Aurbach and Mr. Andrew Palmieri, with Presidential Medals of Honor for their exemplary service to the university. Mia Pezzanite ('08) was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award for her service on the AUR Alumni Council. The ceremony took place at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., 

On introducing the awardees, AUR’s president, Scott Sprenger, remarked, “One of the great pleasures of my presidency has been the opportunity to meet leaders from the past. Tonight, we honor three such individuals, each of whom has played an important role in AUR's evolution.” 

Ms. Agatha Auerbach holds the record as AUR’s longest-serving trustee. Over the course of six presidencies and twenty-five years as a Board member, Ms. Auerbach has been a cornerstone in AUR's transformation into the internationally respected institution it is today. Ms. Auerbach’s has an encyclopedic knowledge of the university’s development, which contributed significantly to the publication of The Story So Far, a history of AUR published on the occasion of the university’s fiftieth anniversary. 

Mr. Andrew Palmieri is also recognized as one of AUR’s longest-serving trustees, joining the Board in 2001 and continuing to play an active role as Trustee Emeritus. Mr. Palmieri is a partner at Saul Ewing in Washington and a dedicated philanthropist. His vast business expertise and network have been pivotal to AUR’s ongoing success, especially during challenging economic times and through the global pandemic. 

Ms. Mia Pezzanite, who graduated in Italian Studies in 2008, served in the Student Government (2007-2008), as the Coordinator of the Italian Studies Club (2005-08), and as the student representative on AUR’s Middle States accreditation committee. Mia was selected for this honor for her dedication to AUR and for the impact she has had in her extensive leadership roles as a student and alumna.  

On presenting Mia’s award, President Sprenger stated, “Mia captures the essence of what AUR values in its alums, and so it is a great honor for me to officially express the university’s sincere appreciation for her service and accomplishments.” 

The entire AUR community wishes to congratulate the award winners and express their gratitude for their commitment to the future of the university.