Giovanni Antonio Grassi

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Giovanni Antonio Grassi (1775-1849) was a Jesuit priest and President of Georgetown University from 1812 to 1817.[1]


Born in Schilpario, at the time part of the Republic of Venice, on 10 September 1775,[2] he studied in the seminary of Bergamo and in 1799 he joined the Jesuits as a novice. In the following years Grassi studied trigonometry at the University of Coimbra and in 1810 he reached the United States where he met John Carroll. From 1811 to 1817 he served as President of Georgetown University and decided to open the catholic institution to non-catholic students. He also opened the new library with more than 5000 books. In 1817 during a trip to Europe he felt ill and he was unable return to the US. In later years he became rector of the college of Propaganda Fide. Grassi died in Rome in 12 December 1849.[2]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Francis Neale
President of Georgetown University
Succeeded by
Benedict Joseph Fenwick


  1. ^ From L'eco di Bergamo of 7 September 2011
  2. ^ a b Dizionario biografico degli Italiani