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From Matilde to Valeria: a journey through words and images in the backstage of the new Unicatt advert

22 aprile 2021

From Matilde to Valeria: a journey through words and images in the backstage of the new Unicatt advert

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"Università Cattolica has a triple promise to make. To the Nation, it promises seriousness in scientific research; to its faculty members, the recognition of their work as scientists and professors; to its students, the necessary assistance for their many spiritual and material needs...".


This statement was pronounced by Father Agostino Gemelli in his inaugural speech for the 1945/46 academic year, and the advert made for the 97th University Day, promoted by the Toniolo Institute on 18 April was built around it. The spot, which is at the centre of a promotional campaign on institutional social networks and on television, was shown 126 times on TV2000 from 5 to 18 April, and was available to32 broadcasters connected to the Corallo Network from 1 to 18 April.

The advert, produced by the University's Multimedia Production Centre under the direction of Gaetano Vaudo, presents and recounts the mission of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, showing the balance between tradition and innovation that is lived and breathed within the University's five campuses. By alternating a series of narrator voices and figures, from students to professors, who speak the words of the founder, and with a succession of images showing the places – from lecture halls to laboratories – where the everyday academic life takes place, the video expresses the profound reasons why choosing our university – in such an important year as its centenary – is always a valuable choice.

A choice of value is strongly emphasised by the presence in the video of Mrs Matilde Olgiati, an alumna of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, the direct niece of Monsignor Francesco Olgiati.Just like Università Cattolica, she reached her 100th anniversary this year. The video opens with a young student in a library. And the final fade-out from the serene, intense and authoritative gaze of alumna Olgiati to the bright, lively gaze of the student – as if there were almost a passing of the baton – underlines the "ring" narrative structure that characterises the commercial.

The first images show Valeria, a girl intent on studying among the books and volumes of the central library of the Milan campus, who begins to recite the "triple promise of Università Cattolica" in the words of Father Gemelli. After a short while, her voice is replaced by that of a professor moving around the new, renovated and modern Gemelli Hall. In turn, the professor will leave the floor to a doctoral student, framed in the splendid Sala Negri da Oleggio, and finally a young man, a first-year freshman, will conclude the text of the founder who addresses his students with the words: "Università Cattolica promises its students the necessary assistance for their many spiritual and material needs".

All these sequences in the video are accompanied by significant shots of the Cattolica's premises, images that evoke the idea of scientific research, technology and innovation typical of academic excellence, but also images that are part of the life and dreams of university students, such as the "throwing of the touch" on their graduation day.

The ever-evolving history of Università Cattolica is concentrated in a short 30-second video, as the ad concludes with the claim created for the important anniversary of its centenary: "A day for Università Cattolica. A century of history ahead of us". A story told through images: the cloisters that have welcomed generations of students, the classrooms that are becoming increasingly technological, the professors aware of their role as trainers of those who will have to lead the country tomorrow. A story that flows into alumna Matilde Olgiati, who studied in Largo Gemelli during the Second World War, graduated in 1943 with Professor Aristide Calderini and has always felt part of the University founded on 7 December 1921.

A story that comes through the voice of Mrs Olgiati, who explains the added value of studying at Università Cattolica as Father Gemelli said: "The development of the personality is the result of an inner conquest". This last message is expressed in the ad in the firm voice of Valeria, who reiterates her choice with conviction, in the proud and reassuring gaze of a professor who knows that he is an educator as well as a teacher, in the decisive step of a student who goes towards his future, sure of the educational background acquired during his studies, and in the serene face of a young woman who does research in a university that always puts the person at the centre and in the foreground.

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