Since its establishment in 1985, the Center for Italian Studies takes pride in its efforts to focus on scholarly endeavors as well as cultural enrichment for the community. In so doing, it has:
- Created an Italian American Studies Program, unique in our nation, which meets Stony Brook University's undergraduate diversity requirements and reaches hundreds of students each semester;
- Launched and successfully completed an endowed professorship fundraising campaign designed to raise $1.5 million. The endowment guarantees the presence of a senior tenured professor in Italian and Italian American Studies at Stony Brook University;
- Organized and sponsored annual conferences, symposia, lectures, seminars and meetings. Topics of our annual symposium include: Columbus: Meeting of Cultures, Italian American Women in our Society, The Italian Jewish Experience, Pirandello in America, Italian Americans on Long Island: Presence and Impact, Italian Labor - American Unions, The New Europe;
- Launched a Visiting Fellows Program, bringing scholars of international reputation to Stony Brook University;
- Published 37 books on major research of Italy and Italian American affairs. Some titles include: Interpreting the Italian Renaissance, Dante Summa Medievalis, ItalAfrica: Bridging Continents and Cultures, Italian Americans on Long Island, The Italian Jewish Experience, The Saints in the Lives of Italian Americans, Adjusting Sites: New Essays in Italian American Studies, Italian Americans in a Multicultural Society, 'Merica, The European Union: Multidisciplinary Views, Leuco va in America (Proceedings of a Conference on Cesare Pavese); The European Union: Multidisciplinary Views; To Die For Justice: Giovanni Falcone, Italian Hero.
- Established a book and video lending library covering a wide spectrum of issues and popular cinema interests of the Italian and Italian American experience;
- Created an annual Italian poetry contest and essay contest on the Italian and Italian American experience for high school students;
- Instituted interdisciplinary programs with other cultural and educational institutions;
- Initiated the creation of scholarship and fellowship award programs for meritorious students majoring in Italian or Italian American studies;
- Established an archive for papers and creative works by Italian Americans, including those of the poet John Ciardi, the playwright Richard Vetere, and books and papers of Senator Alfonse D'Amato.