Purpose: The purpose of the Dante Society of Westerly is to preserve, promote and foster the Community’s awareness of the Italian culture and to reward excellence in the study of the Italian language at the Westerly High School.
History: In 1975 a group of people met at Lillian and Walter Ruisi’s home for the purpose of reinstating The Dante Prize. This prize, privately funded by Dr. John Ruisi, had been awarded in past years to a student at Westerly High School for their excellence in the study of the Italian language.
At this meeting, Lillian Ruisi was appointed the first president. In 1975, the Dante Society of Westerly increased its membership to more than 50 people who worked together to preserve and foster the community’s awareness of Italian culture. They continue to reward excellence in the study of the Italian language at the Westerly High School with the following annual awards.
Awards: The Dante Society Award, in memory of Lillian Ruisi is a monetary award presented to a fourth year high school student who has demonstrated excellence as well as commitment to the promotion and preservation of the Italian culture and language.
The Dante Society Award is given to a fourth year high school student of Italian, in recognition of academic excellence and commitment to the Italian language and culture.
Educational Grants are awarded to local teachers for use in classroom programs.
Person of the Year Award is given to a non-member citizen or group that has promoted the Italian Heritage without personal gain.
Dante Society Committees: (Click Here to learn more about the Committees)
Educational Grants Committee
Person of the Year Committee
Special Events Committee
Members Meetings: Held 4 to 5 times a year. In addition, the Special Events Committee might hold additional events and lectures. Members are informed of events by the President or Special Events Committee via email.
Membership Dues: $25.00 per year
If you would like further information about the Dante Society, please fill out the form on the Membership Page by clicking here, and click submit.