Orange-based Chapman University received a $1.5 million gift from the Ferrucci family to establish the Ferrucci Institute for Italian Experience and Research in the university’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science.
The institute provides students the opportunity to fly to Italy and attend a film festival in Bologna, study food culture in Perugia and linguistics in Puglia and Sicily as part of their coursework, according to the university.
The gift’s donor, Gabriel Ferrucci, emigrated from Italy to the U.S. in 1957. His work in the auto and aerospace industries led him to purchase engineering firm Keystone Engineering, which he sold in 1998 to focus on charitable projects, university officials said.
“When I learned in recent years that Chapman University offered Italian studies, I was excited and decided to support the program financially,” Ferrucci said in a statement. “It is a high honor for me to leave a legacy, which will enable future students to explore the richness of Italian culture.”
Ferrucci’s gift brings Chapman’s current fundraising campaign to $318 million. The campaign, announced last month, aims to raise $500 million for the university by 2028.