Save our History and Research

After the recent earthquakes in Central Italy, the research and historical heritage of the University of Camerino, one of the worlds’ oldest research institutions, is in danger. 

With your help we can save our history, art, and research. 

#ilfuturononcrolla

 

A series of unprecedented earthquakes struck central Italy between October 26th and 30th. On the 26th with 2 hours difference two shocks of Mw = 5.5 and Mw 5.9 caused major destructions between the regions Marche and Umbria. Four days later a third quake – the strongest yet (Mw = 6.5) – laid waste to the town’s already weakened structures. Camerino, the most important medioeval town located nearby the earthquake epicenter suffered an unimaginable devastation.

The town is the seat of the University of Camerino (Unicam), which is among the oldest universities in the world. Founded in 1336, and officially recognized by Pope Benedict XII, Unicam has been widely regarded over its long and distinguished history as a beacon of academic thought. Today, it continues to build on this distinguished history, and on a tradition of research excellence, with a commitment to outreach and career development. Following this dramatic series of quakes the research infrastructures and the historical buildings of the University have been severely damaged; this priceless heritage is now under threat. To give up this precious institution would be a terrible loss not only to the Italian university system, but to the academic world as a whole.

“The University of Camerino is in dire need. We have to rebuild part of our research infrastructures and restructure the historical buildings that for many centuries hosted the University. The Ducal Palace, the Sala della Muta and the Sala degli Stemmi, the symbols of our history have been severely damaged” stated Flavio Corradini, Rector of the University. “The restoration of these rooms, the reorganization of university teaching activities and research is our priority. We cannot do it without help. My hope is that other Universities, Research Institutions, Foundations will help us in this monumental project. Imagine if each of these Institution will donate something like $ 10.000 or less, we will raise enough to bring back to life Unicam. Small donations from private citizens and philanthropist will also be of priceless help” continued Flavio Corradini.

“For more than 700 years, as the University of Camerino, our university has honored the town of Camerino; however, from now on, in an important sense, the University will no longer belong to Camerino. It will belong to the world. For this marks a transformation, a new relationship with the world, in which Unicam joins together with all the universities, research institutions and benefactors who contribute to our reconstruction, revitalization, and the preservation of our history. In exchange we would be honored to dedicate to our benefactors a commemorative room with walls decorated with their symbols and names, as it is now for the Sala degli Stemmi covered by canvas depicting the history of our University” stated the Rector again.

Unicam was funded in the XIV century to host humanities but over the last two hundreds years expanded significantly towards scientific disciplines. In Unicam there are now research team working in the field of life science, mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry, earth science and others. It participates to international research programs of outstanding significance related to climate changes, detection of gravitational waves, early phase discovery of innovative medications, green economy only to mention few.

It is a paradox that research teams at Unicam Earth Science Department are major experts in studying the cartography and the faults of the Appenine Moutains, the seismic even associated to the slip of these faults is now placing at risk this research in which University plays a leading position at global level.

 

"In May of this year my wife and I were fortunate enough to spend a week in Camerino where I received an honorary degree in  Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The degree was presented in the beautiful Sala della Muta. We were entertained like royalty and had a marvelous time meeting with faculty and citizens of the town. It was a delightful experience and we are hoping that this town with such a long and glorious academic history can be quickly rebuilt.”

Robert Lefkowitz Nobel prize in chemistry 2012

“I was in Camerino for a Conference when this dramatic wave of quakes hit the town. It was a terrible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.  I was probably the last one to visit the beautiful panting of Tiepolo a half an hour before the quake arrived. I heard that the painting has been saved. We need to do something to help the University of Camerino to rebuild its infrastructures."

Antonello Bonci, Scientific Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Only few months ago I was in the Sala della Muta to receive the SAS award from the University of Camerino. I cannot believe that following the recent earthquakes that hit Camerino this beautiful room does not exist anymore. We should all do something to give new life to Unicam and to help the reconstruction of its historical heritage.”

Elena Cattaneo, neuroscientist and lifetime Senator of the Italian Republic

“I cannot imagine how dramatic the situation is at the University of Camerino. I still remember the extraordinary atmosphere of that place when I was there to receive my honorary degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012” In my life I had the privilege to help millions of people suffering from AIDS with the discovery of Epivir, now my sentiment goes to the University of Camerino, to its researchers and the students. ”

Francesco Bellini, research scientist and entrepreneur