Linda Smith, News Editor
The University of Dallas’s first La Vacanza Romana program will take place June 5-10 at the Due Santi campus in Rome. Alumni will get the chance to spend five days back on the Rome campus—two days filled with lectures and another three left free for the alumni to do as they wish. The idea, according to Alumni Relations officer Joseph Howe, was first encouraged by President Keefe.
“There was talk about alumni having wishful thinking about going back to Rome,” Howe said.
“[Rome was] one of the finest experiences of my life,” recalled Laura Quinn, ’86, who went to Rome in 1984. Quinn and her now-husband visited again after their engagement, but could only stay for two days.
“I tried in two days to share everything with him that I’d seen in my entire semester,” Quinn said. “We knew we needed to return and return to the Eternal City. So we’re very connected to Rome, and as an alumna and member of the [National Alumni Board], I’m very connected to UD. How great to be able to reignite my flames for both?”
Quinn remembered such things from her Rome semester as having to live off of a loaf of bread and apples for 10-day, papal audiences and just being “in Europe with all [her] closest friends,” and is looking forward to the new experience she will have this trip.
“We’re traveling with my brother-in-law, who has special needs and came to live with us in December,” Quinn said. “He’s never been abroad, so this will be an incredibly special trip for him and for our family. Also, I have some friends who are also going, so it’s going to be fantastic!”
Quinn sees La Vacanza Romana as a way for alumni to relive their Rome experience, while sharing it with family and friends for the first time.
“I was learning amazing things and experiencing more about my faith,” Quinn said. “What better way to relive the joyful, spiritual, educational time we spent in our youth? And the ability to share that joy with the family I love so much today? As they say in the credit card commercials—priceless!”
According to Howe, there has been a great response so far, but spaces are still available and there is no official deadline. More information can be found on the La Vacanza Romana page of the UD website.