The overall purpose of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute is basic to the central mission of The City University of New York. Italian Americans represent the largest European ancestral group in New York State, New York City, and at CUNY. Thus, the primary purpose of the Institute is to foster higher education among Italian Americans. This mission is carried out by
- Conducting and sponsoring empirical, theoretical, and analytical research that will expand, deepen, and strengthen critical understanding of the Italian-American experience.
- Serving as a central clearinghouse for the dissemination of research to academia, government, industry, and the civic community.
- Organizing conferences, lectures, seminars, and symposia on the Italian-American experience.
- Operating specialized counseling programs in areas of outreach, articulation, and student retention at CUNY.
- Administering an Exchange Program between CUNY and Italian public universities.
- Maintaining a resource library of printed material as well as videos pertaining to the Italian-American experience.
- Maintaining updated listings of Italian-American students and faculty at CUNY as well as faculty, academic scholars, and professionals at other universities.
- Providing a Speakers Bureau for students, faculty, and community groups on topics relevant to the Italian-American experience.
- Producing and distributing a television program, informational in nature, geared to the Italian-American community.
The Calandra Institute seeks to accomplish its mission through its research unit, Career Counseling Center, Academic and Cultural Programs, outreach programs, resource library, Columbus CUNY/ITALY Exchange Program, and various community projects.
This year, 2013, marks 35 years since the idea of the Institute was formed, before it even opened its doors. It was indeed announced in 1979 in the Staten Island Advance, as you can read in what follows.