Amerigo Fabbri GRD ’03 accepted his new post as dean of Pierson College at dinner in the college Tuesday.

Pierson dining hall filled to capacity last night due to an e-mail sent by Master Harvey Goldblatt which promised “an announcement of great importance to all Piersonites.” Amid applause, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey announced that Fabbri, a lector in the Italian Department and avid soccer player, will be replacing Christa Dove GRD ’76.

Fabbri assumes the position of dean on July 1, and will move with his wife, a fellow Italian professor at the University of Connecticut, into the Pierson dean’s suite on Aug. 1, he said.

“Family is very important to me,” Fabbri said. “Not only because I am into Italy, but for the sense of nurture and community it provides. I look forward to joining the Pierson family.”

Fabbri has never lived on campus, having rented an apartment on Andrews Street as a graduate student. Though he looks forward to being fully integrated into the college community, he said he was anxious about assuming the new role.

Salovey said he is confident in his choice.

“We were extremely pleased with the quality of applicants for the position,” Salovey said. “We were all thrilled when the best candidate for the Pierson job was right under our noses.”

Salovey stressed Fabbri’s ability to connect with students, a characteristic he said he witnessed firsthand as dean of the Graduate School when Fabbri was a Ph.D. candidate at Yale.

Salovey said he first became aware of Fabbri — whom he called a “student star in the Italian department” — when Fabbri was awarded the teaching fellow prize for dedicated and outstanding teaching among graduate students. The two met again when Fabbri received an award for scholarship in the humanities.

“I’ve kept my eye on him ever since,” Salovey said.

Fabri, the managing editor of the Yale Italian Poetry journal, a Whitney Humanities Center staff writer, cultural events coordinator, and literature professor of Directed Studies, impressed students with a list of academic and extra curricular credentials.

“He’s very open, funny, passionate,” said Marian Grove ’08, a student in his literature section. “He gives his own theories, but lets you lead class, lets you go with your own ideas. He’s really good. I want him for my advisor next year.”

Still, it was his status as a “semi-professional” soccer player that drew the most applause — and scattered cat calls — from students eager to revive Pierson’s intramural soccer team.

After Dove announced her resignation in an e-mail to all Pierson students in September, a committee chaired by Goldblatt and consisting of three Pierson students and three fellows began the selection process at the end of January. They commenced interviews shortly after spring break, and promptly arrived at a decision, Goldblatt said. Though not part of the search committee, Salovey is charged with making the final dean’s appointment.

“I’ve known Fabbri for quite a while,” Goldblatt said. “The critical factor is that he really connects with students. He loves to teach and is fully invested in the educational process.”

Brett Edkins ’06, who served on the committee, said Fabbri was a stand-out amidst a “tremendous number of applications.”

“We were looking for someone who is fundamentally decent and warm hearted,” Edkins said. “Once they get to know him, the students are going to love him.”