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Dear Orvieto Students, Alumni and Instructors,

 

For anyone who feels that their experience in Orvieto had a lasting impact on their education and life, we hope that the distance from this place has not diminished its significance. Rather, we hope it has taken root and given occasion, now and again, to revisit the real purposes for having come to Orvieto in the first place. We hope that it has continued to provide you with deeper insight, revelation and joy. 

What does this place mean to you, and what has it inspired you to pursue? What have you kept from this place, from your friendships and your time in Italia? What have you never forgotten? What made this time significant and what continues to echo in your heart and mind?

Hospitality is one of the abiding gifts that Orvieto teaches us. Genuine hospitality is a mutual exchange and can never be transactional in nature. It is something we are free to accept and, in return, practice ourselves. And even though a place as special as Orvieto is meaningful to visit, we have always expected that our being here would provide opportunities for deeper personal, communal and educational understanding. 

For this to occur, we must be willing to fully encounter the place. This includes the visions and experiences of other people in the fullest sense. The real success of this program has never been measured only by the knowledge gained or the successful work completed. It has also been measured by the quality of trust in relationships that have defined the essence of our achievements. Measured equally, these have been the moments of intellectual and artistic insight that were balanced during moments of sincere care for one another. Put simply, without good relationships we would have no real reason to be here. We could not have endured nor adapted to the culture, and we certainly would not have succeeded in being guest residents and neighbors as we have become. 

Each of you, unique in personality and the circumstances of your semesters, having passed through here at different times, share the poignancy of your experiences here in common. Since 1998 until the present semester, the words, gestures and visions of so many incredible people have contributed to the forming of this program. The credibility of our presence in town was made through our shared presence and commitment. 

We have attempted to live in this place with sensitive and thoughtful attention. Thanks to each former student, teacher, assistant and colleague in Global Education, the vision of this program has taken form. How wonderful it is to think of all the memories and collective intentions represented among us. Because of you, our welcome here as a program has been renewed by the Orvietani year after year. The town thinks of us as one continuous community and we love that fact. Maybe we need to view these 20 years collectively as one semester that keeps expanding day to day and person to person. 

We are thankful for all of you and the place you have in the unfolding narrative of the Orvieto program.

Grazie Mille!