Spanish Ambassador Bestows High Honor on CAS Profs

July 6, 2010

On June 18, during a well-attended ceremony in the Kenmore Conference Room at One Silber Way, Spanish Consul to the United States Jorge Dezcaller bestowed on behalf of his majesty King Juan Carlos I the Cruz de Oficial (Officer’s Cross) of the Order of Isabel la Católica upon Professors of Spanish James Iffland and Christopher Maurer. The ordered was bestowed “for Mr. Iffland’s extraordinary leadership in the study of the Golden Age of Spanish literature in the United States.” The order was bestowed on Maurer for his “extraordinary leadership in the study of Spanish literature in the United States. Both were also recognized for their “outstanding and tireless work to promote Spanish culture in the US academic field.”

The Order of Isabel la Católica was created in 1815 and is today the main knighthood by which his majesty the King of Spain recognizes the extraordinary merit of those individuals who significantly promote the values of Spanish arts, culture and sciences in the Americas.

“I feel truly honored by this recognition of my achievements in the field of Hispanic studies and of my role in bringing the many wonders of Spanish literature and culture to the attention of students and the general public here in the U.S.,” said Iffland. “I was particularly pleased to be honored at the same time as my friend and colleague, Christopher Maurer. It’s rare for two professors from the same department to be recognized simultaneously by the Orden de Isabel la Católica. It’s ultimately a tribute to the quality of our Spanish program here at BU. I also am deeply thankful to the BU administration for hosting the induction ceremony in such a splendid setting. The Spanish ambassador was very pleased.”

“A seventeenth-century Spanish painter once remarked that Spain is a ‘compassionate mother to foreigners,’” said Maurer. “I have long known this to be true, and have felt grateful for it. Being named to the Order of Isabel la Católica is a high honor – one of the highest Spain offers. It was especially gratifying to receive this distinction along with Jim Iffland, a friend and colleague and a formidable presence in the study of Spanish literature, and very good to receive it at Boston University, which has shown such strong support for the study of languages and literatures and is such a great place to study poetry, my favorite field. It was a wonderful occasion.”

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