5 Fun Facts About JCU’s History

5 Fun Facts About JCU's History, John cabot university, JCU campus, study abroad in Rome, American university in ItalyYou might think you have learned all there is to know about life in Rome and studying at John Cabot University. After all of your orientation activities, tours around the city, and newcomer seminars, I’m sure you are all quite up to speed on safety protocol, life in JCU housing, and your professors’ office hours. But when it comes to the history of our beloved university, there are quite a few fun facts and surprises you may be interested to learn about!

Here are 5 fun facts you might not know about JCU’s history:

    1. Giovanni Caboto
      Who was John Cabot, anyway? John Cabot’s real name was Giovanni Caboto, and he was a 15th-century Italian explorer from Venice. He was remembered for his thorough exploration of North America, his “discovery” of Newfoundland and Cape Briton, and for forging a link between Italy and the Americas that has lasted more than 500 years. Since JCU embraces both its American heritage and Italian location, Giovanni Caboto – or John Cabot – is the perfect symbol for a university that educates students to be intellectual explorers.
    2. John Cabot International College
      Did you know that John Cabot University has only had its current name since 1991? Until then, our esteemed institution was known as John Cabot International College. It originally started as an affiliate program with Hiram College, a private liberal arts college in Ohio. It received its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 2003.
    3. Guarini Campus
      The campus we all know and love has a unique history of its own. When we think of Guarini, we most certainly think fondly of hours spent with our friends or studying in the Lemon Tree Courtyard or the student lounge, but that very campus once served as a convent. The old chapel used to stand right where the student lounge is today.
    4. Master of Arts Programs
      In more recent history, a fun fact to note about JCU is that in the Fall of 2017, John Cabot launched its first graduate program— a Master of Arts in Art History. The Master’s degree, also accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is the first US-accredited graduate degree program in art history based entirely in Rome.
    5. President’s Gala
      In the Fall of 2012, a wonderful tradition was started. The John Cabot University President’s Gala was created as an opportunity for students, parents, alumni, friends, faculty, and trustees to celebrate the university’s growth and prosperity. The tradition as been carried on for the past seven years, and will hopefully continue for many more.


Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Communications major
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria

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