Suzanne Campagna initiated the Campagna-Kerven Lectures in loving memory of her departed husband Gerard Campagna and father Mehmet Nahid Kerven.
Gerard Campagna (1911-1988) had a lifelong passion for education and fine books. Born in Berlin, New Hampshire, he had an aptitude for learning even in his early years. He completed his undergraduate work at Assumption College and then a Masters degree in French at Columbia University. As a part of the Columbia program, Campagna also attended and received a diploma from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne in 1937.
Returning to his hometown, Campagna taught high school French until he was drafted to serve in World War II. Before leaving for Europe, he enrolled in Officer Candidate School. He served first in England, then in France where he met Suzanne. They had a Parisian wedding in 1945.
After his 1946 discharge from the U.S. army, Campagna taught at the University of Massachusetts at Fort Devens while pursuing a PhD at Boston University. He lectured in both French Literature and European History.
In 1950, he returned to Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct his doctoral research on Turkish foreign policy. In Paris, he continued his education, auditing course at both L’Ecole Nationale des Orientals and L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques. He was awarded his PhD in history in 1952.
Campagna held a U.S. government position as an historian from 1952 until his retirement in 1970.
Campagna passed away in Washington, D.C. in 1988.