Honorary Fellowships will be conferred during the Baccalaureate Mass for St. Michael’s College Faculty of Arts & Science Convocation on Monday, November 17, 2014 to:
Alberto Di Giovanni
>Alberto Di Giovanni, Honorary Fellow
Alberto Di Giovanni is the founder of Centro Scuola and a tireless advocate for the promotion of Italian language and culture in Canada.
Mr. Di Giovanni originally hails from the small town of Roccamorice, Abruzzo and immigrated to Canada in April 1963, after having completed high school and some seminary studies in Italy. He attended St. Michael’s College, where he earned his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1971, and went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Italian Studies in 1973.
The 1970s saw Di Giovanni take on various leadership roles within the Italian community throughout Canada searching for a meaningful way to express pride in the Italian heritage and at the same time pride in a new society.
In 1976, Di Giovanni founded Centro Scuola e Cultura Italiana, which is now housed in the Columbus Centre. It is a place where children can take part in Italian language and culture classes. The school’s mandate grew to include a myriad of cultural activities, like sports and music, as well as classes for adults. In the 1980s, in his position as director of the school, he organized a program through Centro Scuola that sent students to Italy for language courses during the summer; a program that continues to this day. Along with teachers and various other chaperones, Di Giovanni accompanied many students to his native Abruzzo. Mr. Di Giovanni retired in September 2012.
Throughout the course of his distinguished career, Di Giovanni has received recognition; he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 1977, was named Distinguished Educator of the Year in 1997 by OISE, was a recipient of the Italiani nel Mondo award in 2002, and named Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 2003, to name a few.
Alberto Di Giovanni met his wife Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni at St. Michael’s and have three children. Both continue to be active and contributing Alumns. Most recently, they gave a donation through Centro Scuola to endow a scholarship fund at the undergraduate and the graduate level. The fund also supports an annual Dante Lecture at USMC. The couple then continued to contribute a priceless collection of rare first editions, Dante art and other items as a special collection for the John M. Kelly Library. The room holding this collection is called CASA DANTE.
Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni
Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni, Honorary Fellow
Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni, originally from Havertown, Pennsylvania, attended St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, 1966-1970, graduating with an Honors B.A. in English Language and Literature. She attended Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, graduating in 1972 with an M.A. in Drama. In 1972, Caroline married Alberto Di Giovanni and returned to live in Toronto. Caroline and Alberto have three wonderful children.
Caroline was employed as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of English in the University of Toronto from 1973-1975 and from 1987-1988. She was elected Trustee for the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now the Toronto Catholic District School Board) for 1978-1988, and was Chair, 1987 and 1988. She held the positions of Director of Research, Ontario Separate School Trustees’ Association (1989-1991), Director of Research, Ontario Separate School Trustees’ Association (1989-1991), Special Assistant to the Minister of Education of Ontario (1991-1994). She was an elected member, Metropolitan Toronto Council, 1994-1997 and Director of Communications and Fundraising, Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto 1998-2003. Ms. Morgan Di Giovanni has been a freelance writer and editor in the Toronto area from 2003 – present.
Caroline is the editor of the following publication: Italian Canadian Voices: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose, 1946-1983 (Mosiac Press: Oakville, 1984), The Philosophy of Catholic Education (Novalis Press: Ottawa, 1991), Italian Canadian Voices: A Literary Anthology, 1946-2004 (Mosaic Press: Oakville, 2006), and Bravo! A Selection of Prose and Poetry by Italian Canadian Writers (Quattro Books: Toronto, 2012). Caroline is author of Looking at Renaissance Paintings and Other Poems (Quattro Books: Toronto, 2008) and Second Collection (Lyrical Myrical Books: Toronto, 2013)
Caroline is an active volunteer as the President, Friends of the John M. Kelly Library, 2004 to present; and is involved in the annual book sale fundraiser. She was a Member, Board of Directors, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto 2009-present and was Chair, Board of Directors, Continuum Contemporary Music Ensemble, Toronto 1995-2005. In addition, Caroline has been a member of the Campaign Against Child Poverty Interfaith Advocacy Group from 1997-2007.
Caroline first came to St. Michael`s college at the encouragement of her cousin, Msgr. J. Joseph Ryan, who taught Mediaeval Canon Law at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and St. John`s Seminary in Boston, from 1948 to 1968.