The University of New Orleans has dedicated the Virginia Rosanne Amato Memorial Patio at the front entrance of the Earl K. Long Library. The patio honors the late daughter of John and Virginia Amato who have pledged $1 million to Next is Now: The Campaign for the University of New Orleans.
The Amatos’ philanthropy, through their family foundations, has already provided scholarships for more than 200 UNO students.
“Few people have done more to impact the lives of our students than John and Virginia Amato,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “We are pleased to honor the memory of Virginia Rosanne Amato in this way. Her legacy continues to live on through the legions of UNO students who benefit from the Amatos’ generosity.”
The dedication ceremony was attended by a number of current and past UNO students who have received Amato family scholarships.
“Virginia and I have chosen to support UNO because we strongly believe that UNO is a vital part of our community,” John Amato said. “It is really the university for our community, and it attracts many students who will remain in New Orleans and help improve the city. Also, UNO’s student population contains a number of older and nontraditional students who are now back in school and may not be eligible for financial assistance other than loans. These students are mature and they possess a great desire to succeed.
"Lastly, because of UNO’s relatively modest tuition, whatever monies we can make available will be able to help more students.”
The Amatos, who made their first gift to the University in 1991, have established three scholarships at UNO: the Virginia Rosanne Amato Memorial Scholarship, the James Russell Theriot Scholarship in Sciences and The Virginia and John Amato Family Foundation Scholarship. In 1996, Virginia Rosanne Amato was tragically killed in a tour group bus accident during a study abroad trip to India.
“This is a fitting location on campus to thank the Amatos and to honor their daughter Virginia,” Nicklow said. “The Earl K. Long Library is the heart of our campus—both in terms of geography and significance in the lives of our students. All of our students will cross the patio in front of the library numerous times during their college career.”