In the spring of 1979, the Vittorini Fund was established in honor of the memory of Professor Domenico Vittorini, a long-time member of the Romance Languages faculty, to offer prizes for outstanding achievement in Italian course work at the University of Pennsylvania. The prizes are intended to encourage undergraduates students in the pursuit of majors and minors, and perhaps even careers, centering in Italian culture. The Vittorini Fund is administered by the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia, whose representative presents the awards at an annual ceremony held at the end of the spring semester. Marked by a cultural event in Italian Studies and by the participation of the Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia, the Vittorini reception is an occasion for all Italian students and faculty at Penn as well as members of the America-Italy Society to celebrate academic excellence and reaffirm the warm relationship between the University and a major Italian-American cultural organization in the Philadelphia community.
All undergraduate students taking Italian courses, whether as electives or as part of a major or minor, qualify for the awards.
1. A prize in the amount of $525 is awarded for the best essay written during the academic year for a course on Italian Literature, Italian Culture or Society, Italian History, and Italian Cinema, whether in Italian or in English.
2. A prize in the amount of $425 is awarded to the student who has demonstrated the most significant achievement in advanced Italian courses (Italian 200- level courses).
3. A prize in the amount of $325 is awarded for excellence in the second year of the study of Italian language (Italian 130, 134, and 140).
4. A prize in the amount of $225 is awarded for excellence in the first year of the study of Italian language (Italian 110, 112, and 120).