Dear AUR Students,

As the incoming president, I am writing to say hello and to extend my warmest welcome as you prepare for fall 2020 at The American University of Rome. When I accepted this position, little did I know that the world would be confronting a global pandemic. Nor did you imagine yourselves as college students in the current conditions. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that Italy – and Rome in particular – is relatively free of the Covid-19 virus and is slowly returning to normal – as too will AUR. I have been heartened by the overwhelming sense of solidarity of AUR’s faculty and staff who have devoted themselves to getting the campus ready for an exciting and safe fall re-opening.

Our top priority is the health and well-being of the AUR community; our policy is to align with the Italian government’s most up-to-date health protocols.

That said, I’m sure that you and your loved ones continue to have questions about travel, housing, classroom protocols, extra-curricular activities and, more generally, what the coming school year in Rome will look and feel like. To stay up to date on these and other technical matters, please check the AUR website and attend the student webinars sponsored by Dean of Academic Affairs and her team. These webinars are designed to address any questions or concerns you may have. Also check in with AUR faculty and staff members—or me. We are all here to help.

I am thrilled about the unique learning environment in the heart of Rome that you are about to discover. Not only will your shared learning experiences with classmates and faculty from around the globe expose you to new ideas and perspectives, you will naturally become a more creative thinker and problem-solver. You will also forge friendships for a lifetime.

I have devoted my career, both in Europe and the United States, to helping students design their educational experience for a life and career of purpose. From years of speaking to global employers, I am a true believer in the liberal arts since they lay the foundations for the broadest and most enriching life and career opportunities—including in business, professional and technical fields. Did you know that many of the careers you might consider in 10 years have not yet been created? The important question to explore then might not be: “What is the perfect major?” but rather: “How can I prepare for a meaningful career that does not yet exist?” or “How do I design a holistic university experience that allows me to pivot to a new position when economic disruption inevitably strikes?”

Our commitment to you at AUR is about far more than providing information and answers; it is about helping you cultivate the methods and experiences for asking the right questions. If you are interested in learning more about this educational philosophy, or if you want to just say hello, please feel free to contact me at or swing by my office. I have an open-door policy; I always welcome the opportunity to hear from students.

Warm regards,
Scott Sprenger

Wednesday, July 29, 2020.