Celebrating SYA Italy's 20th Anninversary
Celebrating 20 Years

April 29- 30, 2022
(Trustee Meeting  April 27-28)

The room was abuzz as nearly 300 SYAers – including alumni, current and former faculty, trustees, students, host families and local dignitaries – gathered for the 20th Anniversary Celebration Reception at Villa San Michele in Viterbo. As guests enjoyed a spread of Italian delicacies, old friends of the school spoke of the many generous ways in which Viterbo opened its doors and its walls to the “American School.” SYA President Tom Hassan and Chair of the Board Holland Lynch FR’86 expressed their deep gratitude to all the faculty, staff, families and others from the City of Viterbo for their longstanding partnership. Current Resident Director Patrick Scanlon was also honored for his near 20 years of loyal service; this year he became the longest serving Resident Director in SYA’s history.

Prior to the start of the weekend’s festivities, the Board of Trustees held its annual spring meeting at school. Trustee Nahin Jorgge IT’06 opened the meeting with comments, in Italian, to warmly welcome the group and then Vice Chair Julia Eells, Head of San Francisco University High School, asked the trustees to reflect upon their initial hours in Viterbo and write a six-word story to convey their SYA Italy experience so far. There were many (amusing) stories of language and cultural mishaps, reflecting the experience students often have in their earliest hours and days at SYA.

What really brought the SYA experience to life, however, was when students led the trustees and school leadership on a fieldwork activity, guiding small groups around “their city” and sharing pieces of history, favorite cafes, gelato and pizza, as well as more about themselves and their time abroad. Later that same day, host families welcomed guests into their homes and shared delicious meals and conversations with the student serving as the translator. “We were honored to show – and show off – our students’ skills and knowledge. We all could not have been happier to work with such an authentic and appreciative group of people,” said Resident Director Patrick Scanlon. “At the end of the week, we felt an incredible energy to recognize 20 years of work together with host families and the accomplishments of our students and alumni, especially given that everyone was so eager to be celebrating together after two years of living under the pandemic. From the students to faculty to trustees to dignitaries, everyone is immensely proud to be part of our learning community in Italy.”

Speaking about the success of the weekend’s event, SYA President Tom Hassan said, “Our deepest appreciation goes to the City of Viterbo and to the many host families over the decades that have made SYA Italy the success that it has been for the past 20 years. Honoring SYA in the remarkable city of Viterbo in spectacular locations reminds us of our good fortune and our responsibility as global citizens. And that SYA’s role, now more than ever, is to continue to educate young people who are thoughtful, engaged and talented individuals who will most certainly make this world better for all of us.”

Here’s looking forward to SYA’s continuing role in study abroad for future generations of young adults.

Enjoy these photos and more by viewing our album

Two women stand, they are smiling and facing the camera.
Four people stand in a line smiling and facing the camera.
A group of four people stand and smile facing the camera.
Three people stand at a reception talking.
Two people stand smiling and facing the camera.
A group of people stand in a group talking outside.
Two people stand at a reception, one is laughing with her head thrown back.
A large group of people are smiling and facing the camera at a reception.
Three people are smiling and facing the camera at a reception while outside.
Two people are smiling and facing the camera at a reception.
Two people are smiling and facing the camera at a reception.
A group of people are standing outside and talking to one another at a reception.
A group of people are standing and talking to one another at a reception.
A group of people are standing and talking to one another at a reception.
A group of individuals stands smiling and facing the camera at a reception for the Italy campus.
One white man stands at a podium speaking into a microphone.
Two men stand at a podium speaking.
A few people stand, smiling at the camera, one is holding an older photo and another is behind a podium.
A black and white image of two people hugging.
A group of four, three of whom are holding old pictures, stand at a reception for the Italy campus.
A large group of individuals stands smiling and facing the camera. at a reception for the Italy campus.
A large group of individuals stands smiling and facing the camera. at a reception for the Italy campus.