French Language Legacy Prize fundraising goal a success!

23 Oct 2023

A few weeks ago, the University of Queensland (UQ) found itself just a few thousand dollars short of its $25,000 fundraising goal for the French Language Legacy Prize. However, thanks to the incredible generosity of numerous donors, including dedicated staff, the UQ French Society, and past students, the goal has now been triumphantly achieved. The fund has officially reached its target, ensuring that an annual prize can be awarded to a deserving student of French, marking a significant milestone for the French studies community at UQ.

The French Language Legacy Prize serves as a testament to the power of collective support, highlighting the importance of language prizes in supporting students, fostering excellence, and celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity. The establishment of such prizes not only recognizes the hard work and dedication of students but also serves as a source of motivation and inspiration for the next generation of scholars. Furthermore, it underscores the vibrant and dynamic nature of UQ's language programs.

French studies occupy a special place within the UQ community as an immersive discipline that encourages students to explore the richness of the French language, its speakers, and their cultures. It is a discipline that attracts passionate individuals eager to broaden their global perspective through the study of French. For many former students, French studies have not only expanded their horizons but have also led to personal transformation, inspiring them to make a positive impact on the world.

The UQ French Society, with its unwavering commitment to the French language and culture, played a pivotal role in the successful fundraising campaign. Their dedication and passion for promoting the French language and fostering a sense of community among students have been truly commendable.

This achievement comes in the wake of the UQ German Club's establishment of the German Language Prize in 2022, highlighting the significance of language prizes in recognizing and celebrating cultural and academic achievements. The German Language Prize, sponsored by the UQ German Club in partnership with the UQ School of Languages and Cultures, was established to support students in creating meaningful change during their studies and to commemorate more than a century of German language instruction at UQ. In 2022, the UQ German Club celebrated its 10th anniversary, acknowledging the dedicated students and staff who have contributed significantly to the discipline.

The creation of these language prizes demonstrates the University's commitment to fostering a global perspective among its students and recognizing the dedication and hard work of those who contribute to the success of language programs. Language prizes also play a crucial role in honoring the legacies of influential individuals, such as Hermiene Ulrich, the first female teacher at UQ, who began teaching German in 1911 and went on to teach modern languages during World War I.

Moreover, UQ encourages academics to consider establishing prizes for other languages taught in the School of Languages and Cultures. These prizes can be aligned with Brisbane's multicultural events, celebrating the city's diverse cultural tapestry:

  • Chinese: Chinese New Year Celebrations
  • Indonesian: IndOz Festival Brisbane
  • Japanese: Matsuri Brisbane
  • Korean: Korean Cultural Festival
  • Russian: Slav Festival Brisbane
  • Spanish: Feria De Sevilla

The endowment of the French Language Legacy Prize stands as a testament to the profound impact of community support and the significance of recognizing and celebrating linguistic diversity. It highlights the vital role that language studies play in enriching our lives and broadening our horizons, serving as a source of inspiration for students and educators alike.

The University of Queensland remains committed to nurturing an environment where language and cultural studies thrive, preparing students to become global citizens who are ready to create positive change in the world.