On April 27, 2016, Professor Steve Hutchinson was formally inducted into La Orden de Don Quijote, the highest honor bestowed by Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, which was founded at UC-Berkeley in 1919, and currently has over 600 chapters. Professor Germán Carrillo, President Emeritus of Sigma Delta Pi, conferred the Award, along with an official commemorative plaque bearing the official date of April 23rd—Cervantes Day and Día de la Lengua, to Professor Hutchinson.
The Award, which “recognizes exceptional and meritorious service in the fields of Hispanic scholarship, the teaching of Spanish, and the promotion of good relations between English-speaking countries and those of Spanish speech,” is thus a formal recognition of Professor Hutchinson’s preeminent stature as a Cervantes scholar. On the other hand, his induction into the Order of Don Quijote, an Order of Locos Amenos, as we know, places him in the august company of such “amenable" madmen and women as Erasmus, Sancho Panza, and more recently, Elena Poniatowska, Ernesto Cardenal, Carlos Fuentes, Antonio Buero Vallejo, Carmen Laforet, Camilo José Cela, Rafael Lapesa, Dámaso Alonso, Óscar Arias Sánchez, and his own thesis director Ricardo Gullón. In this way, it acknowledges Don Steve’s well-known obsession with swashbuckling tales of pirates, outcasts and renegades from the emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as his compulsion for challenging disreputable multi-armed giants and serving devotedly as a stalwart paladin in the defense of lost causes.