Hey over there,
On Sunday we had the opportunity to have dinner with Lucy Ferrari, who was instrumental in making the Villa Moderni a part of Virginia Tech.
During the course of the dinner she weaved a series of stories that took us back to the United states in Alabama at the time for forced integration and the assassination of JFK, her work as a language professor and school librarian, moving through the history that is intertwined with Walter Gropius, Charles Burchard, her husband Olivio Ferrari and the Bauhaus and Ulm schools of Design. She brought us along with her to the stories about traveling Europe by boat during early stages of the Europe Travel program and what teaching cultural context meant. Some old student names were brought up, educators who are now integral to the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech.
The knowledge and context of a lifetime.
There were parallels that she could draw simply by having been there and experiencing it. The opportunity to talk with her and gain a glimpse into what her life had been. The story about Charles Burchard and Olivio Ferrari talking about the direction of the school on the beach, forming the Blue Book is just one story that alludes to a much larger picture of education, teaching and personal context in the creation of a global university.
I just hope she had as much fun telling the stories as I did listening to them.