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A Message from Interim President Bernstein

To All Faculty & Staff:

It is with great sadness that I announce the sudden passing of Dr. Mario B. Mignone, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Director of the Center for Italian Studies, and Professor of Italian American Studies in the Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Mario joined Stony Brook University in 1970 as an instructor of Italian, later becoming a tenure-track faculty member in 1973. He served in a variety of leadership roles within his department, including Chair, Graduate Studies Director, and Undergraduate Studies Director. Mario was the Founding Director of the Summer Program in Rome, which he ran for 31 years.

In 1985, Mario founded Stony Brook’s Center for Italian Studies to champion the cultural heritage of Long Island’s Italian and Italian American community. The Center has built a strong cultural bridge between the University and the community at large. It established the Alfonse M. D'Amato Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, the first endowed chair in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Roberto and Palmina Mignone Fellowship in Italian and Italian American Studies, and an endowment for The Center for Italian Studies.

Mario achieved national and international recognition outside of Stony Brook. In 2017, he was honored in the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament for the 50th anniversary of Forum Italicum, one of the most renowned journals of Italian Studies outside of Italy. He served as editor of the journal for more than 25 years. He received the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) in 2012. In 1998, Mario was conferred the honorary title of “Cavaliere al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” by the President of the Italian Republic.

New York State Senator Ken LaValle expressed his condolences with the following statement: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and colleague Mario Mignone. Professor Mignone’s dedication to the Center for Italian Studies and Stony Brook University was unsurpassed. However, it was his commitment to his students that made him truly a great teacher in every sense of the word.  His passion for all things Italian was infectious. I am fortunate to have spent time with him in his beloved Italy, where I benefited from his teaching and vast knowledge of this beautiful country.  My heart goes out to his wife Lois, his children and grandchildren. Mario has touched the lives of so many individuals and his remarkable legacy will live on through his family, friends, students and colleagues."

Richard T. Nasti, Chair of the Center for the Center for Italian Studies, shared, "For those of us who just saw him at the annual fall gathering at the Mignone residence over the weekend, it is simply unfathomable to understand his passing. As always, he was so energized and full of life at the gathering as he spoke about his beloved Center for Italian Studies. At this time, we all express our heartfelt condolences to Mario's wife, Lois, their children, their spouses, grandchildren, and siblings. Mario was an incredible force whose presence will be deeply missed."

Mario Mignone’s indelible legacy will live on through his priceless contributions to Stony Brook University and the Center for Italian Studies.

Information on services is available on the College of Arts & Sciences website pursuant to the Mignone family’s wishes. His family has requested that contributions in Mario’s memory be made to The Center for Italian Studies.


Michael A. Bernstein
Professor of Business, Economics, and History
Interim President