Every year since 2014, the Zegna Group has awarded approximately €1 million to talented Italian graduates, to enable them to pursue postgraduate studies or research abroad. The initiative, known as the “Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship” in honour of the company’s founder, is open to Italian citizens or permanent residents who are recent graduates or in the early stages of their careers. The objective of the program is to allow recipients of the scholarships to enhance their skills by attending leading academic and research institutions outside Italy and to contribute to the development of our country by encouraging promising young Italians to acquire valuable know-how while they are abroad and thereafter by facilitating their return to this country.
To celebrate the 5th year of this initiative, the Zegna Group invited the one-hundred and fourteen students who participated in past editions of the program as well as the forty-nine students who are being awarded a scholarship for 2018/2019, to Trivero. This Piedmontese town (near Biella) is where the “Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna” was inaugurated in 1910. The objective of the reunion was both to share the philosophy and core values that have inspired the company for over a century and to highlight some of the tangible results of the founder’s philanthropic vision.
Gildo Zegna, CEO of the Zegna Group, opened the event with a welcoming speech. The scholars then toured the Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna, the Zegna Archives and Casa Zegna. After a day of exploration and learning, the group moved on to the Oasi Zegna, a 100 square-kilometre natural wonderland established at the initiative of the founder starting in 1930, who also built the “Panoramica Zegna” road. The day concluded with a dinner at Albergo Bucaneve, featuring regional foods and wines.
For the 2018/2019 academic year, forty-nine scholarships are being awarded to candidates chosen from a list of sixty-four proposed by fifteen Italian universities that are partnering with the Zegna Group on this project, as well as the Fulbright Commission. Most of the new scholars will study abroad for a master’s degree or a PhD, while others will attend pre or post-doctoral research programs of a shorter duration.
Since the beginning of this initiative five years ago, the Zegna Group has awarded a total of one-hundred and sixty-three scholarships, seventy-three to women and ninety to men. To date, a majority of the awardees have elected to study or do research in one of the world’s most famous and highly-regarded universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge or the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom, ETH in Switzerland, or Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Columbia or Stanford in the United States. The Zegna Group keeps in touch with the scholars while they are abroad and stands ready to offer them advice at the conclusion of their studies, to help facilitate their return to Italy. To date, nearly two dozen awardees have returned to Italy and are professionally active in the public as well as the private sector.
“I am extremely proud of this program and the satisfaction of seeing the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship program grow every year,” said Gildo Zegna, CEO of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. “What Italy needs are new leaders who are diligent, proactive and responsible, but at the same time have a clear vision of the international scene. Having these young talents come to Trivero has given me the opportunity to share with them some places that are very dear to me and that form the roots upon which the Zegna Group is founded. They are a testimony to the pioneering and entrepreneurial vision that inspired my grandfather and still guides us day-to-day in managing the company. Like my grandfather, we believe that knowledge, together with personal ethics, form part of the true heritage of our country”.
Discover more about Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship, here.