S-HLC and the Suzanne Denyer Awards in Modern Languages and Cultures

The School of Histories, Languages and Cultures (S-HLC) at Hull is very privileged to be in receipt of monies from a donor who has asked us to distribute them in memory of Suzanne Denyer, a graduate who read Modern Languages and graduated in 1974 (BA Hons, French and German). The donor is a cousin of Suzanne’s and winners will be in contact with the family. Suzanne’s mother Dorothy supported Suzanne throughout her studies and is also very much remembered with these awards. We are also grateful to our Alumni Relations Team who manage and administrate all aspects of the award process.

These funds make it possible for us to award an annual Suzanne Denyer prize of £500 for exceptional performance in Modern Languages and also two bursaries worth £1000 in each year of study for two students in Modern Languages and Cultures whose circumstances involve relative financial disadvantage. These awards fit perfectly with two key features of the School. We are committed to delivering the highest intellectual standards possible through our formative and transnational student experience in Modern Languages and Cultures and, at the same time, we are fervently pursuing widening participation initiatives that raise aspirations and create new opportunities, especially in the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire as S-HLC’s contribution to the University of Hull’s anchor role in the region. Some readers will already have seen details of our annual S-HLC Schools and Colleges Essay Competition (see blog post from 24th November 2017). At the end of this post, you will find more details of the Suzanne Denyer awards. The text that follows has been written for Suzanne and sent to us for this blog as another gift.

Suzanne was born July 20, 1952. A spirited and vivacious person throughout her life, she had a drive to be successful. While attending Varndean School for Girls in Brighton, Suzanne worked at Marks & Spencer to supplement the family income to address a financial hardship due to her father’s affliction with Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder. After graduating from Hull University with B.A. (Hons) II(i) degree in French and German, Suzanne joined the Brighton Police Force as a WPC. Her language fluency enabled her to work with foreign tourists in Brighton who needed Police help. In addition to regular duties, Suzanne assisted the Vice Squad. Her sense of the dramatic, chirpy personality, dark hair and ability to act any role given to her, led her to undercover work as a ‘decoy’. Suzanne loved to travel, both to the Continent (where she enjoyed French food and speaking French) and to the United States to visit and travel with her cousin’s family. Unfortunately Suzanne inherited Huntington’s Disease and, though determined to stay independent, ultimately she was cared for in a nursing home in Peacehaven where she succumbed to the genetic disorder shortly before her 60th birthday.

Suzanne is pictured below in Seattle in June 1983 with her cousin’s son Paul Hayter.

Suzanne Denyer Annual Bursaries [In support of Widening Participation in Modern Languages and Cultures] It is the Donor’s intention that the gift be used to fund two bursaries of £1,000 per annum, in memory of Suzanne Denyer. The Suzanne Denyer Bursaries will be awarded, where the financial need is greatest, to undergraduate students, in a Modern Languages and Cultures related subject, initially at the rate of £1,000 per year* for the duration of their study.

Suzanne Denyer Annual Prize [To recognise exceptional performance in Modern Languages and Cultures] It is also the Donor’s intention to fund a prize in memoriam of Suzanne Denyer.  The Suzanne Denyer Prize, initially £500*, will be awarded annually to the best final-year undergraduate student studying for a degree in Modern Languages and Cultures in the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures and will recognize exceptional performance.

*The prize and bursaries will be increased each year in line with CPI such that the current 2018 bursary award is worth £1050. Applications for a bursary involve writing a short account of how the award will help you succeed in your studies (300-500 words). The form is available here:


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