Kenneth Merz has won an award from the American Cehmical Society for using Quantum Mechanical methods with Molecular Mechanical(MM) methods to to study chemical, biological, and pharmaceutical problems.

Above: Frances Mayes, CLAS alumni and author of Under the Tuscan Sun, will visit UF on March 31.

Event Website

An Evening With Frances Mayes

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Author of ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ to Visit University

University of Florida alumna Frances Mayes, the professor and writer best known for her 1996 memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in the Pugh Hall Ocora.

Mayes obtained her bachelor’s degree in English from UF, and went on to become the director of the Poetry Center and the chairwoman of the department of creative writing at San Francisco State University. She has published several works of poetry and a novel, as well as several memoirs. Under the Tuscan Sun, which recounts Mayes’ experiences buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, went to number one on the New York Times Bestseller list and remained on the list for more than two years. In 2003, a well-received film was released based on the book.

Mayes will be reading from her newest memoir, Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life. In the book, Mayes muses on the many joys of building an Italian life: Tuscan icons that connect with her life; crucible moments from which bigger ideas have emerged; how she has awakened to the possibilities of spontaneity and trust in instinct; and reflections on the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where “Under the Tuscan Sun” began and on the wider view she’s gained since then.

After the reading, Mayes will take part in a colloquium and be answering questions from the audience. She will also be presented with a Distinguished Alumna award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Following the event, Mayes will be available for book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

The event is open to the public, but tickets are required because seating is limited. To reserve seating, please contact Sunshine Andrei at 352-392-5474.



Jeff Stevens, Communications and Outreach,, 352-846-2032


Sarah Fitzpatrick,, 352-392-0780


For more information about “Every Day in Tuscany” or to schedule an interview with Frances Mayes, please contact Rachel Rokicki at 212-782-8455 or

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