Early History of the Program

The Ohio Wesleyan Spanish Program at the University of Salamanca was founded in March 1988. Conrad Kent (Ph.D., Harvard University, Professor of Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities/Classics) founded the program and, in conjunction with Professors María Dolores (Lola) de la Calle and Manuel Pérez López, developed a fall semester program that would allow students access to tenured professors at the University of Salamanca. Professor de la Calle was the first resident director of the program, organizing academic, cultural and social opportunities for each new group in Salamanca, arranging and overseeing housing with host families, as well as teaching a course on contemporary Spanish history.

From the beginning of the program, Professor Emilio Prieto de los Mozos, a senior member of the Faculty of Philology, has taught Spanish grammar in the Program in addition to lecturing and serving as an advisor to the European Community on the preparation of Spanish courses for distribution in all member nations. Over the years Professor José Ramón Nieto has surveyed the history of Spanish art and led our students on field trips to museums and to architectural sites in Castilla and Extremadura. Professor Manuel Peréz López has taught twentieth-century Spanish literature and Professor Javier San José has taught literature of the Golden Age. Since 1995, Professor Juan Antonio Pérez Millán, Director of the Filmoteca de Castilla y León and author of important books about Spanish film directors, has provided our students with a class on Spanish cinematography.

Students also have enjoyed excursions along the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route mentioned in connection with the wife of Bath in the introduction to Chancer's Canterbury Tales. Alternately hiking and riding along the route, they have visited churches, monasteries, and hostels along the way to experience the exhilaration of medieval pilgrims as they approached Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral dedicated to Saint James, Spain's patron saint.

In addition to studying with professors from the University of Salamanca and taking memorable excursions, Ohio Wesleyan students have frequently been able to meet with their Spanish professors on campus in Delaware, as a result of on-going efforts to create a special relationship between Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Salamanca. In 1993, members of Salamanca faculty participated in symposium on the Golden Age in Salamanca and in 1995, other members of the faculty presented papers about Salamanca in the twentieth century, proceedings of both symposia being published by Librería Cervantes under the titles: Salamanca en la Edad de Oro and Salamanca en el siglo XX. In 1998, the two universities celebrated their 10-year association as well as the joint publication of a commemorative work: Visiones salamantinas (1898-1998).