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Rio offers Welsh language courses

August 15, 2014

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Nearly 2 million Americans boast Welsh ancestry with millions more bearing Welsh surnames, according to U.S. Census data.

The rich history and culture of Wales is deeply rooted in its language, Cymraeg. This fall, the University of Rio Grande, through its Madog Center for Welsh Studies, will offer Welsh Language I and Welsh Language II as three-credit courses toward degree completion.

Both Welsh courses also are available to non-degree seeking students.

“The Madog Center for Welsh Studies at the University of Rio Grande has long served as a champion of Welsh culture, and does a wonderful job teaching the Welsh language,” said Welsh North American Association Executive Secretary Megan Williams, Ph.D. “There are only a handful of institutions in the United States that offer Welsh language for credit toward a degree. Learning Welsh really is a form of art that acts as an introduction into the rich cultural history of Wales, and Rio Grande does an exceptional job with teaching both the technical elements of the language and the culture."

The rich history and culture of Wales is prominently embedded throughout southeastern Ohio. The Madog Center for Welsh Studies was established in 1996, and Welsh language courses were first offered through a Welsh minor program at Rio Grande.

Welsh is one of Europe’s oldest living languages, directly descended from the Sixth Century.

“Welsh is a beautiful language and a great way to tap into the rich culture and history of Wales,” Madog Center Director Jeanne Jindra said. “We’ve had people of all ages and ancestral backgrounds enjoy the course. A lot of people want to sing in Welsh because its such a musical culture.”

The Welsh language courses will be taught by Madog Center Davis intern Alis Newberry, who is first-language fluent in Welsh.

Courses begin Aug. 25 at Rio Grande. Students can take the Welsh language course for the in-district (Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton) rate of $408.48, out-of-district in-state rate of $468.48, or the in-state senior citizen (over 60) rate of $60. Standard university rates apply for out-of-state students. Students from nine Kentucky counties – Greenup, Boyd, Lawrence, Elliott, Carter, Lewis, Rowan, Fleming and Mason – receive in-state rates through a reciprocity agreement with Ohio.

For more information or to enroll, please contact the Madog Center at 740-245-7186.

Founded in 1876 and nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Ohio, the University of Rio Grande serves as an oasis of learning, innovation and technology. The 190-acre residential campus strikes a balance of liberal arts and experiential learning to prepare students for successful lives as responsible citizens in a culturally diverse, global community. An epicenter of cultural enrichment, Rio offers students a nurturing environment focused on the needs of the individual with a student-faculty ratio of 16:1 and a plethora of extracurricular activities ranging from Student Senate to Greek life, and intercollegiate athletics.