A funding scheme set up by a Sheffield lawyer to help students study modern languages is about to celebrate 100 years in use.
Even today, students have reason to thank solicitor Herbert Hughes for the scheme that first enabled study of Spanish at degree level.
Mr Hughes helped to launch the first French and German honours courses at the University College Sheffield in 1901, then in 1915, Sheffield’s Chamber of Commerce promised to support the establishment of a chair or readership in Spanish at the University.
When Hughes died suddenly in 1917, the city’s Chamber and Cutlers’ Company launched a public appeal to help fulfil his plan to get Spanish on the curriculum.
Money raised established the Herbert Hughes Memorial Fund and the first Hispanic Studies courses at the University of Sheffield.
Now, 100 years on, the scheme continues to support study of Hispanic languages at Sheffield’s two universities, and in local schools.
It funds travel bursaries for students, an annual concert showcasing students’ Hispanic musical talents, and a Spanish language competition for local schools.
As part of centenary celebrations, students will perform Sheffield Fusión Latina, a concert on May 19, at the Octagon Centre. This is part of the University’s Festival of Arts and Humanities, featuring work by some of the UK’s best poets, musicians, historians and philosophers.
The Fund is now seeking support from businesses to extend the bursary programme.
For information on current modern languages courses in Sheffield visit: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/slc