New York University President L. Jay Oliva today announced that the University will present the first Sir Harold Acton Award to Marchesa Bona Frescobaldi. The award will be bestowed at a dinner honoring Marchesa Frescobaldi to take place on June 15 at NYU’s Villa La Pietra in Florence.

The Sir Harold Acton Award is intended as an annual honor for prominent Italians and Italian-Americans who have made significant contributions to the preservation, education and enhancement of Italian culture. It is one of a number of NYU undertakings - including the Sir Harold Acton Lecture series and the establishment of the Acton Scholars - meant to commemorate Sir Harold’s life, his interests and his pursuits.

Dr. Oliva said, “Sir Harold loved Italy with all his heart. In entrusting the University with La Pietra, he demonstrated his belief that we would find ways to preserve his great love as a great legacy.

“In establishing this award, we honor his memory and his admiration for Italy and things Italian. In choosing Marchesa Frescobaldi to receive the Sir Harold Acton Award, we celebrate someone who is emblematic of Sir Harold’s own values: a passionate admirer and promoter of Italian art, life and culture. She has shown NYU great friendship as we have worked to make ourselves part of the Florentine community, she has opened her door to us, and she has consistently promoted the idea that American students will best learn about Tuscan culture. Her efforts have benefited our students and scholars enormously.”

Marchesa Frescobaldi is the president of the consortium of Laudemio for the enhancement of Tuscan olive oil. She is also a president of the publishing company Ponte alla Grazie, which she founded in 1987.

Marchesa Frescobaldi is also a founding member of the Friends of La Pietra, a group of Florentines who assist with programming at La Pietra.

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