Italian honours for St Andrews academics

Wednesday 23 November 2005

Two University of St Andrews academics have been awarded one of Italy’s highest honours for their contribution to Italian culture and language.

Professor Peter Humfrey of the School of Art History and Professor Ronnie Ferguson of the Italian Department have been awarded the Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta’ Italiana (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity).

The honour was instituted by the Republic of Italy in 1947 and is awarded by the President of the Republic to citizens and foreigners for distinguished service to Italy or Italian culture.

It is extremely rare for two academics from the same university to receive the honour in the same year. Only five UK residents were rewarded at this week’s ceremony, three of them academics. The ceremony, on Tuesday 22 November 2005, coincided with Italy’s Christopher Columbus Day celebrations. His Excellency Giancarlo Aragona, Ambassador of Italy to the United Kingdom, presented the awards at a reception in Edinburgh.

Professor Humfrey is internationally recognised for his knowledge and expertise on Italian Renaissance art and his close involvement with the conception and organisation of several international loan exhibitions, including Lorenzo Lotto (Washington, Bergamo and Paris, 1997), Dosso Dossi (Ferrara, New York and Los Angeles, 1998), and the Age of Titian (National Gallery of Scotland, 2004).

Meanwhile, Professor Ferguson was singled out for his distinction in the fields of Italian Renaissance theatre, Italian identity studies and Venetian language, linguistics and culture, as well as for his role in making the University of St Andrews a major UK centre for Italian studies.


A jpeg image of Professors Humfrey and Ferguson at the awards ceremony is available from Claire Grainger, Press Officer, University of St Andrews – contact details below.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information, please contact Claire Grainger, Press Officer – 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or [email protected]; Ref: press releases/italy View the latest University news at

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