Mediterranian Studies Association Wins Stella D'Oro Award From European Parliament

Mediterranean Studies Association (MSA), received the prestigious 2003 Stella D'Oro Award of Merit for European Culture from the European Parliament and the Robert Schuman Foundation. Receiving the award on behalf of the Association was Dr. Benjamin Taggie, a history professor at UMass Dartmouth who serves as the Executive Director of the MSA, and the director of the Summer Mediterranean Studies Programs.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announced that the Mediterranean Studies Association (MSA), of which it is a sponsor, received the prestigious 2003 Stella D’Oro Award of Merit for European Culture from the European Parliament and the Robert Schuman Foundation. Receiving the award on behalf of the Association was Dr. Benjamin Taggie, a history professor at UMass Dartmouth who serves as the Executive Director of the MSA, and the director of the Summer Mediterranean Studies Programs. 

In a special ceremony held on May 28 at the MSA 6th Annual Congress in Budapest, Hungary the presentation was made by Dr. Enrico Ferri, a Deputy in the European Parliament and by Dr. Dino Di Gregorio, President of the Robert Schuman Foundation. During the award ceremony, Dr. Di Gregorio read a letter of congratulations and thanks from Italy’s President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. 

The MSA also received a grant from the Comune Di Nocciano in Italy to utilize the restored Nocciano Castle to establish a permanent presence in Europe and to further the cultural and scholarly activities of the Association. 

“This magnificent 12th century castle is partially restored and currently houses a modern art gallery featuring the works of many of the leading contemporary artist from the Abruzzi region of Italy where Nocciano is located,” stated to Dr. Taggie. “The MSA plans to use the castle to establish the Nocciano Summer Festival for the visual and performing arts,” he said. “The festival is intended for 11th and 12 grade high school students and will attract students from the various nations in the European Union and from the United States.” 

The Mediterranean Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization that promotes 
scholarly study of all aspects of the Mediterranean region. It is particularly concerned with the ideas and ideals of medieval cultures in the western Mediterranean and their influence beyond those geographic boundaries. The Association participates in conferences and is a member of the Medieval Academy of America. It also sponsors seminar sessions each February at the annual conference of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University. 

“Membership in the Association is open to anyone interested in the scholarly study of Mediterranean culture,” Taggie added. “Annual dues are modest and include a subscription to the Association’s annual journal entitled Mediterranean Studies.” 

UMass Dartmouth has been a sponsor of the MSA since 1994 through the Provost Office, the Division of Continuing Education and the Center for Portuguese Studies. Additional information about the MSA is available through the Internet at its website: www.mediterraneanstudies.org. 


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