The American University of Rome's 2018 Commencement Exercises will be held on Friday, May 25, at 6:00 pm at Villa Aurelia, Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1. 

The ceremony will be followed by a reception at the Villa.

This year we have 70 graduation candidates, 43 undergraduates and 26 graduates.

Honorary Degrees will be awarded to Mr. Joseph Plumeri, American businessman and philanthropist, and to Mr. Charles Williams II, archeologist, scholar, and philanthropist.

Prof. Maria Grazia Quieti will be the 2018 Grand Marshal.

Honorary Degree Recipients, 2018

Joe Plumeri - Honorary Degree at The American University of RomeJoseph Plumeri
Vice Chairman, First Data

Joe Plumeri is vice chairman of the First Data Board of Directors. Since joining First Data, Plumeri has played a pivotal role in the company’s transformation from a transaction processor to a payments technology company and solutions provider to merchants and financial institutions.

Prior to joining First Data, Plumeri served as chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Willis Group Holdings and had a 32 year career at Citigroup and its predecessor companies. As CEO of Citibank North America, he led the integration of the consumer businesses at Citicorp and Travelers Group.

A widely admired leader in the insurance industry, Plumeri was named to Treasury & Risk magazine's list of "100 Most Influential People in Finance" in 2009 and 2010. He was also recognized by St. John's University School of Risk Management as Insurance Leader of the Year in 2006.

Plumeri’s generous philanthropy over the decades has drawn many accolades. He gave seven figure gifts to William and Mary, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the New York Law School. He also serves on the boards of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse; Mount Sinai Medical Center; the Jackie Robinson Foundation; and the Churchill Museum at the Cabinet Ward Rooms in London.

An avid sportsman and baseball entrepreneur, Plumeri is an owner of the Trenton Thunder, the AA-affiliate of the New York Yankees, and the Trenton Blue Claws, the A-affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 2015 Plumeri published his first book, a national best seller, The Power of Being Yourself: A Game Plan for Success – by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work. In his book, based on his life experiences, Plumeri offers simple yet profound guidance on how to stay positive, motivate yourself and others and, achieve success in your life and work. All of the author’s proceeds from the book are donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Born in Trenton, N.J., Plumeri received his Bachelor of Arts in history and education from the College of William and Mary and attended New York Law School. In 2011, William and Mary awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service in honor of his philanthropic endeavors, where Plumeri delivered a speech to the 2011 graduates, titled "Go Play in Traffic (and Follow the Signs Along the Road)," that was recognized as one of the best commencement addresses of the year by the New York Times.

Mr. Charles Williams II - Honorary Degree at The American University of RomeCharles K. Williams II
Director Emeritus, Corinth Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Charles K. Williams, II received his B.A. and M.F.A. from Princeton University. While working as an architect in the office of Philip Johnson, he took classes at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Thereafter, he received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He began his archaeological work as architect for Alan B. Wace at Mycenae. As a student he worked at Morgantina, Sicily, then Gordion in Turkey. His excavations include Porto Cheli in the Hermionid with Michael Jameson, Aghios Stephanos in Lakonia under Lord William Taylour, and Ancient Nemea. His association with Corinth began in 1962 as Stevens fellow; in 1966 he was appointed the first, full-time director of the Corinth Excavations, a position which he maintained until his retirement in 1997. Under his directorship the Corinth training program was formalized, and the computerization of the excavation records was begun. Combining the skills of architect and scholar, Mr. Williams’ breadth of interests and expertise extend from Iron Age to Frankish periods, and he has published extensively in many aspects of those periods. His yearly excavation reports appear in Hesperia.

At present, he is preparing his excavations in the area east of the theater for final publication, to be followed by the study of the Frankish complex southeast of Temple E. With his unique provocative style Mr. Williams continues in the role of teacher, advising students and colleagues in their research, and instructing portions of the American School trips.