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Boston University and Sovereign Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander (Spain), have entered an agreement by which the bank will provide BU $300,000 a year for three years to support a number of programs related to Hispanic studies. The funding from Banco Santander will be split evenly between CAS and SPH.
According to James Iffland, professor and chair of Romance Studies, the CAS portion of the gift will be used to establish a new, more vibrant relationship between Boston University and Hispanic communities through the Department of Romance Studies.
The CAS portion of the funds will underwrite renovation of the Spanish House (“Casa Hispánica,” located at 162 Bay State Road) to provide intellectual and physical space for student interaction here at BU and with the Hispanic community. “We’re looking for this to provide and educational and social environment for the BU student community,” says Iffland. “The Casa Hispánica will focus on the culture of the Spanish-speaking world and provide a venue to promote interaction with the broader community.”
The funds also will be used to promote cultural events that focus on the Spanish-speaking world. These events, sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies, will invite the entire Boston community to experience the richness of Hispanic culture.
The gift also will be used to enrich the undergraduate curriculum by offering a community-service course that will take Spanish-language theatre into Boston-area high schools with high Hispanic enrollments, and by offering Spanish language and culture courses to community groups in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.