Alpha Evans of Lampeter has won the inaugural £3,000 Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship.
Alpha, 21, graduated from Swansea University with first-class honours in Welsh earlier this year, and she intends to use the scholarship to undertake postgraduate research to investigate the culture, language and legal proceedings of the town of Swansea and county of Glamorgan between 1870 and 1914.
This period is significant to the development of Swansea docks as an industrial centre that saw a substantial growth in its population and socio-linguistic changes. A third of the population of the town and district of Swansea spoke Welsh in 1891, but it was a period of cultural-linguistic change, and Alpha intends to analyse this change through the medium of legal sources.
The Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship has been established with financial help from media company Tinopolis Cymru, as well as supporters and friends of Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University, and it aims to support Welsh-medium postgraduate students who wish to study a field related to Hywel Teifi's contribution to Welsh learning and culture.
Alpha, who will embark on the research within the next fortnight, said: “It’s a huge privilege to receive this year’s Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship; this is a scholarship bearing the name of one of the giants of our nation, who was so active and passionate in advocating the Welsh language, its culture and Welsh scholarship nationally, as well as at Swansea University and specifically the Welsh department. Throughout my period as an undergraduate student studying Welsh at Swansea University, I received a host of worthwhile opportunities from Academi Hywel Teifi and receiving this scholarship this year is the icing on the cake, and I am very grateful. I eagerly look forward to starting my research soon and receiving a scholarship in the name of Hywel Teifi will certainly be a massive inspiration for me.”
The judges of this year’s scholarship were Professor M Wynn Thomas, Angharad Mair and Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, Director of Academi Hywel Teifi.
The broadcaster Huw Edwards said: “As a family, we are delighted to hear of this excellent award, and we extend our warmest congratulations to Alpha, wishing her great success in her work. This is the inaugural scholarship and Dad would undoubtedly be proud of the efforts to promote important research of a high standard relating to Welsh culture. Thanks to Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University and Professor M Wynn Thomas for their commitment, and especially to Angharad Mair and Tinopolis for their generous sponsorship.”
Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, Director of Academi Hywel Teifi, said: “The Academi is very proud to be able to award the Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship for the first time this year, thanks to the support of so many friends and family of Hywel Teifi and Welsh-language enthusiasts over the years. It’s also a pleasure to award it to Alpha Evans, a brilliant Swansea University graduate. Alpha’s study promises to be multi-disciplinary and intriguing, and it is particularly apt that the city of Swansea will be at the heart of her research. I am sure that she will produce a valuable study during the next few years that will be a credit to the Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship and the memory of Hywel.”