“The Centro will change your life.”
Centristi have been saying it since our founding in 1965. The phrase is undeniably true, and the results take many forms.

For some Centristi, a semester in Rome tips the balance and unequivocally demands that they pursue graduate work in Classics.  The professional fields of Classics, History, and Classical Art and Archaeology are chock full of Centro alumni.  In recent years, Centristi have pursued graduate work at Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Michigan, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, and other leading programs.

For others, on-the-ground instruction in Rome stirs a life-long love of Italy, the Eternal City, and the ancient world that they carry into a wide array of fields, from Classics-adjacent areas like museums, conservation, and library sciences to realms further afield such as law, finance, business, and medicine.

Beyond careers, the Centro fosters intense friendships and a network of contacts that endure for decades beyond a semester in Rome.

“You will find no other program that builds as tight of a community as the Centro.”

2008-2009 – A Look Back

We tracked down 62 alumni from the 2008-2009 academic year.  Here’s a snapshot of their professional accomplishments about a dozen years after their time in Rome.

Field of Employment:

What do Centristi do after the Centro?
A whole host of rewarding things, it turns out.

Degrees and Honors:

Centristi from 2008-2009 count among their ranks two Fulbright Scholars and one Gates Fellow. And these 62 alumni have earned a total of 60 graduate degrees:

Degrees and Honors

* 5 of these were earned overseas
† Across History, Classics, Linguistics, Psychology, and Religious Studies
‡ We know, not a degree per se

2008-2009 Profiles

Centro Connections

The relationships that Centro students form among themselves persist across the decades, often in unexpected ways.  Here’s the experience of one Centrista, a quarter-century removed from his semester in Rome.

David Bloch

Spring 1995
BA Amherst College
MPhil University of Oxford
JD Harvard University

The Centro stands out as my best semester in college. Studying Classics in Rome was exhilarating: it provided deep context to what I previously knew only from books. Outside the course work, the friendships I formed have endured and enriched my life beyond any expectation, both personally and professionally.

Living in Rome and traveling through Italy made me a lifelong Italophile. Over the years, I’ve returned as often as possible, even as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy.

After grad school in Classics, I pursued other career paths, but my love for the ancient world, which the Centro cemented, stayed with me: I taught Latin through law school, served as a consultant to the National Latin Exam, and helped organize exhibitions of Latin and Greek manuscripts in Washington and New York.

Remarkably, most of my closest friends today are Centristi. Eric Cleary was the best man at my wedding. Jeremy Radcliffe and I manage a venture capital and private equity firm we co-founded. I see Paul Dowling weekly and have watched him develop his passion for antiquarian books into a successful business. Sarah (Commisso) Armstrong and I frequently text.

So the Centro not only helped make me who I am: it also made possible what I do, within and ultimately beyond Classics. What author Mark Helprin wrote rings true for me and, I am sure, many Centristi: Rome, he said, “echoes and echoes, and I’ll hear it until I die.”

David Bloch