Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
President of the Italian Republic, 1999-2006
President of Venice International University, 1995-1999
The funeral of President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi has taken place in Rome, following his death on Friday, September 16, 2016. He was 95 years old.
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi was the first President of VIU, from 1996 to 1999, the year in which he became President of the Republic of Italy; a fitting conclusion to an illustrious career, first at the Bank of Italy where he became Governor, and later in political roles including various ministerial posts throughout the 1990s, and a period as Prime Minister in 1993-1994. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi was a fine statesman, widely respected for his honesty and integrity.
Prof. Paolo Costa, who was Dean at Venice International University, while Ciampi was VIU President, and who was later Mayor of Venice, recalls how Ciampi held a “conviction that one of the destinies of Venice was to become a great city of scholars”, and that he was a strong supporter of the reconstruction of the Fenice Theatre, which he formally re-opened in 2003.
Ambassador Umberto Vattani, incumbent President of VIU, has released the following statement:
“In this sad moment for all Italians, we at Venice International University share our deepest sympathy with President Ciampi’s wife, Franca, and remember the importance of President Carlo Azeglio’s contribution to the birth and development of our Institution.
“I got to know the President while he was still Governor of the Bank of Italy, and while I was at Palazzo Chigi as Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister.
“I later had the honour of receiving him, when he was Prime Minister, during his first official visit abroad, to Germany, where he delivered a moving Lectio Magistralis at the University of Bonn.
“We met frequently in Rome while I was Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry and I was privileged to participate in a group of functionaries that Prime Minister Prodi and Treasury Minister Ciampi had wished to establish to prepare the negotiations for Italy’s entry into the euro area.
“It is with particular fondness that I recall meetings with him when he had already become President of the Republic, a time in which he demonstrated extraordinary leadership in relaunching Italy’s important role in the negotiations for European expansion.
“These are all personal anecdotes which I hold dear, but what has in particular been relevant for VIU is the eminent figure of a great Italian statesman who had an extraordinary intuition: to found a University which is truly unique in the international academic panorama. Venice International University today has 16 member universities from throughout the world. On the shared campus in Venice, students from all over the globe join a unique transnational, interdisciplinary environment where they take part in academic programs focused on important global challenges: sustainable development, ageing populations and welfare, global ethics and governance, the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, and the role of technology and innovation in society. This is President Ciampi’s legacy at VIU.”
The Dean of VIU, Prof. Carlo Giupponi, has expressed his sadness at the news of President Ciampi’s passing, adding that “as a citizen, I am sorry for the loss of a good man who had done much for his Country”.
President Ciampi’s address during the Inaugural Ceremony of Venice International University in 1997, although spoken 20 years ago, is ever more relevant in the current climate of uncertainty in Europe and conflict further afield. In it he touches on themes of the European project and how it arose from the need to build lasting peace so as to avoid a repetition of the rise of exasperated nationalism, anticipating many of the challenges that the world faces today.
President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi’s address, during the Inaugural Ceremony of Venice International University on 7 June 1997 (in Italian).