Archive | 10:55 AM


28 Aug

50 years ago yesterday, over 200 very curious and most adventurous students from across the U.S. landed in Rome for the beginning of a year like no other – destination:

Loyola’s Rome Center was started in 1962. At that time, it was the largest American study program offered by a U.S. university in Europe enrolling Loyola students as well as students from 75 other U.S. colleges and universities, of which I was one.

While it is hard to imagine we arrived 50 years ago, it is so easy to remember the most incredible year of our lives. Quickly becoming a family of “campers”,  we learned, laughed, loved and lived together. Oh how we lived!

Most of us arrived at age 20, having never been to a foreign country, nor away from home for more than a semester. There was no internet, no wifi, no cell phones, no pc’s, etc. But we adapted quickly. What we did have was one public payphone in the hall, mail slots, a beautiful campus, an attentive staff, engaged professors, and most of all, each other.

Yes, we actually did attend class with some very excellent professors, but so very much of what we remember from that year comes from outside the classroom, as they said it would.

We quickly learned how to get around in Italy…

and explore some of her greatest treasures.

We learned to navigate by train, and expect nothing to happen as scheduled.

On holidays, we even had extra time to explore far away destinations.

We learned of the unspeakable horrors of war…

and saw monuments dedicated to victory.

We rushed to the Vatican on 5/22/72 in the hope that the Pieta had not suffered grave damage at the hand of a madman. 

When not studying or traveling, we also trained well and competed!

We learned that every kid in Italy plays soccer,

and that some of then best “food” can be bought at the market.

At Christmastime, we sponsored a party for children from a local orphanage, doing much more for us than they could imagine.

At the end of our year together, we published a wonderful yearbook and I was delighted to be one of the photographers. All of the above photos are from that book, so kudos to the following people:


Finally, 10 years ago, Loyola Rome celebrated its 50th anniversary in Chicago and all classes were invited to attend. It was our group’s 40th anniversary, and as you can see, friendships are still going strong.

To the family of “71-72 campers”,  indeed we did learn, laugh, love and live together. Oh how we lived! 


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