In 1969, professor Jack Kehoe journeyed to Italy to create a unique opportunity for University of Georgia students. He found the ideal site for an experiential learning environment amidst the history, culture and beauty of Cortona. Now 50 years later, the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library is reflecting on the history of the program in the new exhibit Experiencing Cortona, on display at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.
“With this exhibition, we wanted to showcase the program history that is documented in the archival collection,” said Christopher Robinson, Cortona’s director, who approached the Hargrett Library about an exhibit last summer, adding that the program has allowed students to grow personally, academically and culturally.
Since the first class of Cortona participants journeyed to Italy in the summer of 1970, more than 10,000 UGA students and faculty have experienced the program. The exhibit uses original artifacts, photographs, documents and more drawn from the Cortona Program Records, a part of the university’s archives housed in the Hargrett Library. A touch screen kiosk in the gallery plays selections from the 1980 documentary film “Summer of Joy” which followed a group of UGA students on their experience in Cortona. The film is held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.
“We hope this display is a fun way for program alumnae to connect with their own Cortona stories, and for other visitors to get a glimpse into what this experience has meant to so many students over the years,” University Archivist Steve Armour said. “We welcome any additional materials that former participants or instructors would like to add to the collection.”
Experiencing Cortona: Celebrating 50 Years of UGA Study Abroad will remain on display through May 29, 2020. The Hargrett Library Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the exhibit contact Jan Hebbard at email@example.com or 706-583-0213.