About CIAO – Join Us!

Statement of Purpose: To reconnect and nurture a community of alumni and friends that will provide an advocacy base  for the future of the University of Georgia Cortona Program.
Join our email list to get notices of CIAO events. Send your email address, or new email addresses update to: c.i.a.o.uga@gmail.com
Volunteer! If you can volunteer in any capacity, from a leadership position, helping with an event, writing an article, helping maintain our website…let us hear from you. Remember we are all-volunteer driven. We have fun too!   c.i.a.o.uga@gmail.com
Please Join CIAO! CIAO is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the Lamar Dodd School of Art Cortona studies Abroad Program and connecting with the alumni and friends of the program. Your membership dues will go toward the costs of events, fundraising opportunities, maintaining communication, and supporting the program.

CIAO Membership Dues: $20 per year (not tax deductible… but needed to accomplish all that we do)
Charge Membership Dues on PayPal:

Membership Dues Checks should be made payable to: CIAO or Cortona Italy Alumni Organization
Mail to: CIAO, P.O. Box 1191, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Make tax deductible donations to the Friends of Cortona Fund
Checks payable to “The UGA Foundation” earmarked for “The Friends of Cortona Fund”.
Mail to: Robert Poister, UGA Development and Alumni Relations, 394 S Milledge Ave, Athens, GA 30602 or contact Robert at 678-491-9445 | rpoister@uga.edu .

Donate Online: click Online Donation Form for Friends of Cortona Fund

  • Click on or type in your amount.
  • In Comments/Special Instructions: type in the item(s) on this Wish List if you have chosen.
  • Proceed to complete following the easy instructions with your Contact and Payment information.
  • Prefer donating a specific item or toward a specific need? Click on Director’s Wish List

From Rick Johnson – Join CIAO!
I am so excited that the Cortona Italy Alumni Organization (C.I.A.O.), known as CIAO is finally landing solidly on the ground. I realized that we had this wonderful acronym way back in 1974 when I was a graduate student on this program but it has taken a dedicated group of Cortona alumni to finally form the official organization. At the 40th anniversary celebration two years ago, it was overwhelming to see returning alumni representing each of the 40 years… decades of Italophiles sharing the same experience that “was the most life-changing experience of my entire life!”

My five years as director of this program came after ten different teaching stints in Cortona during the summers so I feel like I have probably crossed paths with more of you than practically anyone else has. Cortona is the ultimate paradox as everything changes but that which matters (the way our program runs) has stayed the same. Yes, we now have a 4.5 acre campus and the UGA Real Estate Foundation has poured 3 million dollars’ worth of restoration efforts into the John D. Kehoe Cortona Center… but the quality of teaching and the intimate experience of the young student has remained at its same high level.

Autumn 2010 was my last semester as director of the UGA Studies Abroad Program, Cortona, Italy and I retired from UGA and the Lamar Dodd School of Art. I plan to make Athens my home base but believe me, Cortona will be my second home! I will stay active in this new C.I.A.O. and hope to crisscross with many of you on both sides of the Atlantic. Please join us in C.I.A.O. so that you too can keep Cortona an ongoing adventure; more than just a memory.

Ciao from Rick

C.I.A.O. Board Members: Karen Adams, Erin Bailey, Cam Cato, Rick Johnson, Betty King, Lynn Lanier, David Lester, Del Martin, Mike Morgan, Stephanie True Moss, Jo Ann Paschall

Email: c.i.a.o.uga@gmail.com


  1. Barbara Lee (Hall) Powell says:

    Hi, just found this page,I was in Cortona in 1978, with Jack Kehoe!
    What an adventure,they made a video that year that showed me rappidly gaining 20 pounds,I don’know how much I would have gained if it han’t been for walking! Great food, bread, pasta,and wine!
    Barbara Hall Powell

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