A tribute event in memory of Alberto Alesina
"Call me Alberto". It is the first thing that Professor Alberto Alesina said to the many young people who entered his office for the first time. And this phrase, as simple as it is direct, says everything about his personality, his way of understanding relationships, his desire to talk and discuss not with the student but with scholars of all ages: on an equal footing. Because for him it was the ideas that counted and not those who made themselves spokesmen.
Alberto Alesina passed away two years ago, on May 23, 2020, and even more than they miss the omnivorous scientist, the scholar who opened a new sector in the field of economic studies - Political Economy - his students miss their mentor, the man who knew how to trace and illuminate their path as young economists.
"Alberto was the most beautiful soul for a large generation of his intellectual sons and daughters," says Silvia Ardagna, his alumna and now chief European economist at Barclays. "We students were always his priority," echoes Matteo Ferroni, PhD at Boston University. "He created a community of young people who were students and who have now grown or are growing up and who will always be united by what Alberto has been for all of us," explains Marco Tabellini, assistant professor at Harvard. "His extraordinary generosity has made him a teacher, mentor and unique friend for us students," adds Pierfrancesco Mei, PhD at Harvard. "With him you could joke about everything, even what he didn't like at all: getting old," recalls Giorgio Saponaro , another Harvard PhD. "Alberto was a giant, a giant who sat firmly in your corner, ready to support you to make you discover the best of yourself," highlights their PhD colleague, Leonardo D'Amico.
Two years after his untimely death, Bocconi is dedicating two days of studies and tributes to our alumnus. The University has named a seminar room after him in the Department of Economics, which he never stopped attending and carried in his heart to his office at Harvard, as well as onto the ski slopes, his great passion. Now Bocconi is launching a fundraiser to establish the Alberto Alesina Young Economists Award.
Gathered to remember and pay tribute to the scholar on May 25 will be Mario Draghi (President of the Council of Ministers), Lawrence H. Summers (former US Treasury Secretary and President Emeritus, Harvard University), Silvana Tenreyro (External Member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee and Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science) and Lionel Barber (former Editor of the Financial Times) who will join Mario Monti, Gianmario Verona, Francesco Giavazzi and Alberto’s wife Susan Alesina.