Moran becomes director of summer Rome programs

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Dr. Andrew Moran takes over as director of the summer Rome program, succeeding Dr. Ronnie Rombs. Photo courtesy of Katrine Christensen.

This past summer, Dr. Andrew Moran, professor of English, took over as the director of summer Rome programs, filling the role formerly held by Dr. Ronnie Rombs, professor of theology and recently-appointed dean and director of the Rome program.

In the spring 2023 semester, Moran taught Literary Tradition III and Tragedy/Comedy on the Due Santi campus. Students of that semester remember Moran for his frequent, inimitable antics, such as performing unmentionable dances to the sound of a kazoo inside an ancient tholos tomb and arriving to the final exam dressed in a gory Gloucester costume.

The summer Rome program is many students’ only chance to study abroad in Rome during their time at UD, particularly for those in STEM majors or with double majors, and it has been under the direction of Rombs since its inception.

“With the history of the Rome program, there are so many people who deserve congratulations. So many people built upon something excellent that was done before, and Dr. Rombs then built on what was done before in starting the summer program,” said Moran. 

“There was tremendous work on his part. He’s the one who figured out how to get a Greece trip. He was the one who fiddled with the schedule and figured out a way to have the option of going all summer. I think it was over a span of nine years that he took it from inception to making it a solid program,” said Moran.

Moran commented on the peculiarities of the summer Rome program. “It’s obviously a smaller program. But in the summer, because it’s smaller, people get even tighter, and that’s really, really fun,” he said. “A lot of new friendships get made in the summer out of necessity. And we’re all on the same bus together in Greece.”

Unlike the spring and fall Rome semesters, the summer Rome program accepts students outside UD. In 2023, the summer program had nine students that were not from UD. Some were high school friends of UD students attending the summer program and others were students at other institutions such as HIllsdale College and Wyoming Catholic College.

Having prepared for this role during the spring 2023 semester under the guidance of Rombs and having taught on the Rome campus for a number of semesters, Moran is uniquely qualified for this position. 

Dr. Matthias Vorwerk, provost, said of Moran: “He has long-standing experience with the Rome program. He’s been there before and taught there. He knows the program well, and has intellectual and pedagogical dedication to the core program, in particular to the way it is taught in Rome.”

The summer Rome program is divided into two segments, Summer I and Summer II, with the Greece trip located at the end of Summer I and the beginning of Summer II so that both groups can attend.

In the summer of 2023, the Summer I program consisted of Western Civilization I, which was taught by Dr. Susan Hanssen, and Art and Architecture of Rome, which was taught by Dr. Estelle Fonteneau.

Summer II consisted of Western Theological Tradition, taught by Dr. Christopher Malloy, and Literary Tradition III, taught by Dr. Debra Romanick Baldwin. Due to the compressed semester, Philosophy of the Human Person was not offered. Whether it will be offered in the summer of 2024 is undetermined.

Looking to the future of the program, Summer I students in 2024 will study Western Civilization I under Dr. Susan Hanssen and Western Theological Tradition under Father Thomas Esposito. The academic lineup for the Summer II is undetermined.

Although Moran is teaching Literary Tradition III on the Due Santi campus this fall semester, he plans to return to teach on the Irving campus during the regular academic year and return each summer to Due Santi. Moran succinctly described it thus: “Unlike Persephone, who has only six months a year in the nether world, I will have nine months a year in Irving, a netherworld in comparison to Italy.”

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