D'Youville College, taking a tip from big business, is developing a bilingual Web page.
"I'm sure we are the first college in Western New York -- if not the state -- to do this," said D. John Bray, spokesman for the private institution on Porter Avenue.
Joseph M. Sorci, who is installing the software to offer Spanish as well as English on D'Youville's Web page, believes the college is among the first in the nation to offer a language option on the Internet.
"So far as we know, the University of California system is the only other place you'll find a college or university with a multilingual Web page," said Sorci, a founder and the president of Newpangea Enterprises LLC of Andover, Mass.
Sorci, a graduate of Williamsville North High School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the software and consulting company "is focused on globalizing the World Wide Web" and can install software in any major language.
"This is our first college," he said.
D'Youville chose to take its Web page bilingual "to be accessible to a wide range of individuals," Bray noted. "We selected Spanish, as the Hispanic population is a large and growing area and a market we want to be in."
Poet and Hispanic community activist Olga Mendell, who is a professor of Spanish at D'Youville, translated the initial pages for the Web site -- which is expected to be up and running next week.
Will the college be going from bilingual to multilingual in the future?
"We would hope to," said Bray. "We would like to do French, for our Canadian audience."
D'Youville "has no idea of the impact this will have on our recruitment or marketing," Bray added. "But we believe it is a positive endeavor, regardless."