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Prizes and Awards

Professor BarsoumProfessor Calabritto

Prof. Barsoum and Prof. Calabritto award their students during the ceremony. 

The Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College hosts a Prizes and Award ceremony every spring. We celebrate the achievements of our students and honor their efforts throughout the year. Below you will find a description of each award:

The Fanny Cafferata Class of 1878 Award was established by Miss Felicia Cafferata in 1938 as a memorial to her sister, Fanny Cafferata, class of 1878, to be awarded annually to that student in the senior class who has evidenced the highest degree of excellence in the study of the Italian language and literature. 

The Agnes M. Duffy Award in French was established by Dr. Agnes Esther Duffy, a graduate of the Class of 1912. it is given annually to a student enrolled at Hunter College for outstanding achievement in French.

The Claudine Grey Prize was created by the Board of Higher Education to honor Claudine Grey. She taught at Hunter College from 1897-1940 and was the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages from 1927-1940. It was under her aegis and firm hand that the study of foreign languages at Hunter College prospered and became a pedagogical model for other institutions.

The Maria Olivia Memorial Prize was established by Diana McIIvane in memory of the late revered lecturer in Spanish, Maria Olivia, who taught at Hunter College from 1945-1953. It is to be awarded to that student completing the senior year as a major in Spanish, deemed most proficient in the subject, and most likely to continue Spanish studies.

The Martha Rezler Prize in French was established in 1973 by Dr. Julius Rezler, in memory of his late sister, Martha Rezler, Professor of French at Hunter College until her death in 1973. The award is to go to a Hunter student who plans to continue graduate work in French Literature.

The René Taupin Scholarship Award was created by a bequest of Professor Sidonia Taupin in memory of her husband, Professor René Taupin, for many years the Chairman of the Department of Romance Languages. This scholarship was originally designed to enable a Hunter College student to spend at least three months in France being initiated into enjoying the offerings of French life, culture and art.

The Andrés Valdespino Memorial Award was established in 1975 as a memorial to Andrés Valdespino, Professor of Spanish at Hunter College until his death in 1974. The prize was created through the initiative of Professor Alex Szogyi, Chairman of the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter that year. Before coming to Hunter, Professor Andrés Valdespino was a professor of law at the University of Havana and a man who had been active in civic and public affairs in Cuba.

The Gabriela Mistral Award was created by the Department of Romance Languages of Hunter College in 1981 to honor Latin-America’s Nobel prize-winning poet.

The Academia Literaria Award has been created to recognize the effort of those Hunter College students who excel in the promotion and development of Spanish cultural activities, such as the production and publication of the Spanish Literary Journal, series of Spanish cinema, presentation of renowned Spanish writers and professors from the Spanish world.

The Distinction in Graduate Studies Award is granted to students who are enrolled in the Masters of Arts in French, Italian or Spanish and have demonstrated a high level of scholarship in their studies.

The Faculty Award for Students in Romance Languages is presented once a year to students in each of the three languages, French, Italian and Spanish, who have shown excellence in  either both courses 341 and 342 and are pursuing an undergraduate major in that languages.

The Distinction in Undergraduate Studies Award is granted to students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in French, Italian or Spanish and have demonstrated excellence in their studies.

The Rita Sherman Memorial Award was established in July of 1989 in fulfillment of the testamentary dispositions of Rita Sherman’s will. Rita was a dedicated student of our Department during the late seventies.

The Xoán González-Millán and Esperanza Caneda Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Professor González-Millán, Professor of Spanish at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and his beloved wife, Esperanza. Xoán González-Millán was a noted scholar of Spanish and Galician studies who taught at Hunter College from 1985-2002, when he and Esperanza met their untimely end. The award was created by their friends and colleagues in the Hunter community, and is presented each year to a graduate student in Spanish who plans to continue advanced studies in Spanish literature and join the academic profession.

The William Wood Memorial Prize was established in 1895 by Mrs. Watts as a memorial to her father, the Honorable William Wood, formerly Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and President of the Board of Education. William Wood was appointed a Commissioner of Education in 1869. Wood took a liking to Thomas Hunter (1831-1915) and became one of the most powerful political allies of Hunter College. The award is for students having high records for the entire French course.

The Master of Arts Award in Romance Languages is presented once a year to a student in each of the three languages, French, Italian and Spanish, who have shown excellence in graduate study in that language and has completed all the requirements for the M.A. degree in either the individual language or the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in that language.

The Luigi Pirandello Award honors the acclaimed Italian playwright whose creativity has influenced contemporary theatre all over the world.

The Luis del Río Award was created in 1998 to honor the memory of this Spaniard who spent a lifetime helping the underdog. A veteran of the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War, and a criminal defense attorney in Madrid, Luis del Río died in 1998 at the age of 80. Although he lived his entire life in Spain, he was fluent in English and a great believer in the value of young people learning a second language. The fund was established by this American-born niece, her husband, and her brother- and sister-in-law, to assist worthy students of Spanish.

The Distinction in Graduate Studies Award is granted to students who are enrolled in the Masters of Arts in French, Italian or Spanish and have demonstrated a high level of scholarship in their studies.

The Miguel de Cervantes Prize is being awarded this year, in the name of the creator of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, to thank him for the pleasure that he has brought to the untold millions who have read the adventures of the famous knight and his squire and who have been captivated by the world Cervantes created.

The Grazia Deledda Prize was awarded for the first time in 1980. Grazia Deledda was born in Sardinia in 1870. Her first novel was published in 1885 when she reached the ripe old age of 15. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926 and is considered by many to be Italy’s most outstanding woman novelist. This prize has been created by the Committee of Honors and Prizes of the Department of Romance Languages to honor a student who shows promise as a writer.

The Maria Olivia Memorial Award was established by Diana McIIvane in memory of the late revered lecturer in Spanish, Maria Olivia, who taught at Hunter College from 1945 to 1953. It is to be awarded to that student completing the senior year as a major in Spanish, deemed most proficient in the subject, and most likely to continue Spanish studies.

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