Good Afternoon! Dobriy Dyen! Bienvenidos y saludos a todos.
In our fast paced world of sound bytes, what often passes for excellence is that which momentarily catches our eye, the flashy...... the temporary. At a liberal arts college in the Benedictine tradition, we are not fooled by such illusions. We realize that what is really important -- what truly has value -- is that which is lasting and enduring ----- someone who has substance and character.
The recipient of this year's prestigious award is a person of substance and character who deserves to be recognized for his excellence in teaching and for his more than 2 1/2 decades of service to Saint Anselm College and to our students.
Er ist ein freundlicher und kluger Lehrer. He is a gentle, affable, optimistic, wise teacher who has survived and thrived on the many changes that have occurred since he joined the faculty of the College in 1970. In fact, he seems to live by the old French adage: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. --- "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
Our recipient has been honored frequently by his peers with election to the Faculty Senate. And he has served as secretary and as president of that prestigious body. He has worked with his colleagues through many curricular changes at the College and has served on committees too numerous to mention. At present, he oversees a mini-United Nations on the top floor of Alumni Hall.
It takes a special person to be able to co-ordinate the efforts of faculty, native speakers, and students studying French, Spanish, German, and Russian. Our recipient is just such a person.
Valedictorian of his Norwood High School senior class, student at the Sorbonne, graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, John D'Espinosa earned his Ph.D. in medieval French literature from Pennsylvania State University. During his nearly 2 decades as chairperson of the Modern Languages and Literature Department, John has helped to bring a unique dimension to our teaching of foreign languages and literatures. He has overseen the growth and development of our nationally recognized native speaker program. And under his leadership interdisciplinary certificates in French, Spanish, German and Russian were introduced.
In a world where the knowledge of foreign languages is so essential for survival, John D'Espinosa provides our students with a gateway to success. For this we say merci beaucoup. Merci beaucoup, John. It is a pleasure and a privilege to honor you with this award.