Davidson College has offered Spanish courses since 1917, while Greek, German, French, and Latin were offered before. Only one elementary-level course was taught at the time by Dr. Grey, and by 1920, two Spanish courses were offered: elementary and intermediate. By 1921, Davidson students started a Spanish club, and 247 Davidson students were enrolled in Spanish classes by 1925. It wasn’t until May of 1921 that the first full-time Spanish department faculty member was hired, Professor Fleagle. Shortly after, in 1922, Professor Goldiere was hired as the assistant Spanish professor. Professor Blythe returned to Davidson to teach Spanish in 1923 after ten years away. In 1929, these Spanish professors offered fourteen one-course Spanish classes to the students; eight of these were advanced classes. The number of students enrolled in Spanish classes declined from the decade before and in 1936, about 177 students were enrolled. In 1951, the Spanish department had a faculty of two professors, Professors Causey and Roberts. Spanish became a major at Davidson in 1954.
The first study abroad program for students in the Spanish Department was in Spain in 1975. This program continued until 1995. Students had other options for studying in a Spanish speaking country as semester-long programs were offered in Mexico (1981-1990) and Latin America (1975-1980). From 1991-2005, students had the option of spending a summer abroad in Mexico. In 2003, the Spanish Department started a summer program in Cadiz, Spain. A semester-long program began in 2007 in Peru. The Davidson Hispanic Studies department launched a new semester-long study abroad program in Madrid in the spring of 2014. As of 2014, Davidson offers a summer semester abroad in Cadiz, Spain and a semester-long program in Peru and Madrid.
In 2012, the Spanish major and department names were changed to Hispanic Studies. Thirty Hispanic Studies majors graduated in the Davidson College Class of 2014. As of 2014, the department consisted of 57 courses, 25 of which are offered in the 2014-15 school year.
Beaty, Mary D. A History of Davidson College. Briarpatch Press, 1988.
Davidson College Archives. Photograph Collection File RG3/5.18, 1987.
Davidson College Archives. Photograph Collection File RG3/5.18, 1989.
“Hispanic Studies.” Davidson College Catalog. 2012-2014.
“Spanish.” Davidson College Catalog. 1917-2011.
Author: Meredith Pintler ’16
Date: 8 August 2014
Cite as: Pintler, Meredith, “Hispanic Studies Department” Davidson Encyclopedia, 8 August 2014 < />.