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Italy’s Highest Distinction Conferred on President Papadakis
Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Servio Vento (shown with President Papadakis) recently visited the University City Main Campus, where he conferred upon President Papadakis the title of “Cavaliere Ufficiale” in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. The bestowal of the knighthood is governed by Italian legislation and is awarded by the President of the Republic of Italy. Among those in attendance at the ceremony in the Paul Peck Alumni Center were Drexel Board Chairman Joseph Jacovini, Esq., and Trustee C.R. “Chuck” Pennoni ’63, ’66, Hon. ’92.
President Papadakis received the honor in recognition of his building strong relationships with the Italian-American community in collaboration with the Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia, Dr. Lorenzo Mott, and for promoting exchange opportunities with Italian universities. These opportunities include collaboration on research projects, and the development of seminars, courses, workshops and internships between Italian universities and Drexel. The University’s Office of Government and Community Relations works closely with the Italian General Consulate on various projects and events and was instrumental in facilitating the award ceremony.
Papadakis’ late mother, Rita Masciotti, was a native of Italy. His late father, Dr. Nicholas Papadakis, a Greek physician, had also been honored with the same title in 1981. The honor is conferred upon individuals who promote the role of Italy in their country, have excelled in their chosen profession and contribute to the positive image of the Italian community.