While Associate Professor William (Bill) Richardson has taught countless students at Flinders University to say ‘hola’, a high achieving Spanish student will now be saying ‘gracias’ for an award given in his name.
Associate Professor Richardson has donated $10,000 towards the annual William Richardson Prize for Excellence in Spanish. The donation will support an award in perpetuity for a student who has reached an exceptional standard during their Spanish major.
94-year-old Associate Professor Richardson taught French and Spanish at Grammar Schools in the UK until 1965. He then migrated to Australia, with his wife Helen and their two children, where he took up a lecturing position at Flinders University.
Spoken by over 500 million people in more than 20 different countries in four continents, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language by first language speakers.
Because of its widespread use and worldwide importance, it’s not surprising that Spanish has been offered at Flinders since the University was established in 1966.
As the first appointees to the discipline, Associate Professor Richardson and Professor Kenneth Garrad established the Spanish curriculum at Flinders.
“The achievement of Australian Ambassadorships by two of my former Spanish and Portuguese students, Sue Tanner (Ambassador to Chile and Spain) and Neil Mules (Ambassador to Mexico and Brazil) were real highlights for me,” says Associate Professor Richardson.
Retiring in 1987, Associate Professor Richardson has continued his research and maintained a close association with the University as a Visiting Scholar. In 2012 he was awarded his PhD based on his internationally published place-name research articles and his book on the claimed Portuguese discovery of Australia.
The annual award will be a lasting legacy to recognise excellence in the Spanish language. Gracias Associate Professor Richardson!
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