Danjus Public Affairs & Government Relations

October 07, 2009 07:02 ET

Honorary Degree Conferred Upon Mario Cortellucci

Philanthropist Awarded Doctorate of Letters in Mediaeval Studies

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2009) - The Pontifical Institute in Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) has conferred an Honorary Doctorate upon philanthropist and successful entrepreneur HE Chev. Mario Cortellucci O. Ont.

Mr. Cortellucci was presented with the honour on Saturday during a convocation ceremony at St. Basil's Collegiate Church in Toronto. The Honorary Degree was also presented to Umberto Eco of the University of Bologna and Elizabeth A.R. Brown of Brooklyn College and City University of New York. The Invocation was delivered by His Grace Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto and Chancellor of the Institute.

Mr. Cortellucci is President of the Cortel Group of Companies, comprising of a variety of diversified and highly successful enterprises. His philanthropic efforts have benefited numerous causes including education for children and youth in need, health care facilities and First Nations communities. In 2008, Mr. Cortellucci was installed as the Grand Prior of Canada for the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta (Ecumenical Order). His charitable sponsorships have assisted many worthy causes including The United Way, York Central Hospital, the Muki Baum Association, Ontario March of Dimes, Variety Club, Vita Nova and others. Mr. Cortellucci is a Member of the Board of Directors of the St, Michael's Hospital Foundation. In 2005, he founded the Universal Youth Foundation, a registered Canadian Charity committed to providing educational assistance to children and youth in need throughout the world and in Canada. The Foundation recently funded the Cabbagetown Youth Centre.

Mr. Cortellucci sponsored the construction of the Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre in Peterborough. The interpretive centre will offer an interactive educational experience for young and old, with over 100 exhibits showcasing the natural habitat of some of the world's most impressive fish and wildlife. The centre will feature the spectacular 2,400-gallon Shimano Freshwater Aquarium, state-of-the art Toronto Sportsmen's Show Amphitheatre, dozens of wildlife dioramas, and a display of record Ontario fish. The Heritage Centre is named in honour of its major benefactor, Mr. Cortellucci, who donated two million dollars toward the project.

He was also recognized by the Government of Italy for his sponsorship of Casa Italia, a permanent exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario promoting Italian Art and Culture. He is the recipient of the Order of Ontario and the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal. Mr. Cortellucci is married to Ginesia Bussoli. They have four children, Maria, Pietro, Romina and Stefano.

The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies is a research institute in the University of Toronto that is dedicated to advanced studies in the culture of the Middle Ages. The Institute was founded in 1929 as the Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto. Étienne Gilson, then of the Sorbonne, was instrumental in its foundation, along with Henry Carr and Edmund J. McCorkell of the Congregation of St. Basil and St. Michael's College. In 1939 it was granted a pontifical charter by which it was given the power to grant the licentiate and doctorate degrees in medieval studies. The Praeses (or president) of the Institute is Richard Alway, who was formerly president of St. Michael's College. Mr. Alway presented the Honorary Degree to Mr. Cortellucci

For more information on the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, visit www.pims.ca.
/For further information: Ralph Capocci, President, Danjus Public Affairs and Government Relations at (416) 722-2141 or rcapocci@danjus.com/ IN: EDUCATION, INTERNATIONAL, MEDIA, RELIGION, SOCIAL

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