Lehman Languages and Literature Department Professor Gerardo Piña-Rosales recently received one of the Chilean governments most prestigious awards: The Order of Gabriela Mistral, the Orden al Mérito Docente y Cultural. (Teaching and the Order of Cultural Merit)
Piña-Rosales, the president of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language and a Lehman professor since 1981, accepted the award on October 16, during the commemoration of the 130 anniversary of the Chilean Academy of the Spanish Language. The honor was bestowed on him by the Honorable Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, Ministro Presidente del Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes. (National Council for Culture and Arts) The presentation was made in Santiago, Chile. Gabriela Mistral, was a Nobel Prize Chilean poet and educator.
The award was established in 1977 and is given to both native Chileans and foreign nationals who have “made an outstanding contribution benefiting education, culture and the advancement of teaching.”
“Awards, medals, and plaques are always little signs of recognition from your peers, and when receiving them one should feel honored and grateful,” says Pina-Rosales. “I try not to feel carried away by them. After all, I always did what I like most, writing and teaching It is a privilege to be able to do that and on this occasion, I felt honored and happy because I love Chile and the Chilean people.”
In 2006, Piña-Rosales won Spain’s Ayuntamiento and Casino de Lorca’ Prize for his novel Desde esta cámara obscura (From this Darkroom). In 2010, Piña-Rosales was elected Honorary President of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society. He is also a correspondent member of the Academy of Arts and Letters at the University of Granada in Spain. In 2014, the professor had the honor of greeting the newly-installed King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, while attending a ceremony to introduce the 23nd edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language at the Royal Spanish Academy in Madrid, Spain.