Ferrari Humanities Symposia

Bernard T. Ferrari and his wife, Linda.

In 2012, University of Rochester Trustee Bernard T. Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD) and his wife, Linda Gaddis Ferrari, established the Ferrari Humanities Symposia to broaden the liberal education of the University’s undergraduates, enhance the experience of graduate students, and expand the connections of University faculty with other scholars from around the world.

The annual symposium features a public talk from a visiting scholar with expertise in humanistic thought from the 14th to 17th centuries. The visiting scholar also participates in other activities on campus designed to complement the lecture.

Both Dr. and Mrs. Ferrari have a long-standing appreciation of the arts, particularly paintings of the Italian Renaissance period. "The study of the humanities provides people with the ability to better appreciate beauty, and better appreciate life," said Dr. Ferrari, who explained that art helped to keep him grounded through his rigorous studies in science and medicine. Read more >

Previous Ferrari Humanities Symposia keynote presenters have been Anthony Grafton, Diarmaid MacCulloch, and Stephen Greenblatt.

Stephen Greenblatt
Stephen Greenblatt at the Ferrari Symposium in 2014.


This year, the keynote speaker for the Ferrari Humanities Symposia will be Jane Tylus, Faculty Director of the Center for the Humanities and Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at New York University. Professor Tylus will present “Saying Good-bye in the Renaissance: Leave-Taking as a Work of Art” at 4 p.m. in Hawkins-Carlson Room (Rush Rhees Library) with a reception to follow. All are welcome.

Professor Tylus will be on campus April 4–6 for the Ferrari Humanities Symposia. In addition to the keynote lecture, she will participate in a number of discussions and panels for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, alumni, and local community members.

Learn more about this year’s symposia