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 and about Italian-Americans. In so doing, the Institute serves as an intellectual and cultural center, by (a) stimulating the study of Italian Americans through its research, scholarship, public programming, media outlets, counseling services, study abroad, and, ultimately, (b) bringing together a community of scholars who can focus on and enhance the Italian-American experience both within and beyond the Italian-American community. This mission is carried out through the major activities in which people engage at Calandra and in the field on a daily basis:
• Conduct and sponsor empirical, theoretical, and analytical research that will expand, deepen, and strengthen critical understanding of the Italian-American experience.
• Operate specialized counseling programs in areas of outreach, articulation, and student retention at CUNY.
• Publish a peer-review semi-annual journal on the Italian-American experience, Italian American Review.
• Publish two book series on empirical, theoretical, and analytical research that regards the Italian-American experience.
• Serve as a central clearinghouse for the dissemination of research to academia, government, industry, and the civic community.
• Organize international conferences, lectures, seminars, and symposia on the Italian-American experience.
• Administer an Exchange Program between CUNY and Italian universities.
• Maintain a resource library of printed material (21,000 volumes circa) as well as videos pertaining to the Italian-American experience.
• Maintain updated listings of Italian-American students and faculty at CUNY as well as faculty, academic scholars, and professionals at other universities.
• Produce and distribute a television program, Italics, informational in nature, geared to the Italian-American community.
• Produce the annual booklet for the Italian Heritage Culture Committee, NY.
The Calandra Institute thus seeks to accomplish its mission through all of the above-mentioned activities as well as additional projects that arise in conjunction with other colleges and universities, and various cultural organizations and associations.
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.