Volume 92, Issue 76

Thursday, February 11, 1999


Tuition effects to be surveyed

Nurse shortage due to decrease in health care funding

Weldon academy's exit could aid campus space problem

Apologies not only outcome for Canada

Knighthood bestowed on French professor

Pressure mounts to boot spanking

Caught on campus

Knighthood bestowed on French professor

By Carrah Goodman
Gazette Staff

Western will soon have a knight among its ranks.

Professor Clive Thomson, chair of the department of French, will become a knight of the republic of France in a ceremony to be held at Western on March 19. This award dates to 1808 when Napoleon established it to honour academics for promoting the French language and culture. It is one of the oldest honours France bestows.

"This award is a great honour," said Lauren Polonceaux, a diplomat from the French Embassy in Ottawa. "It is an award given by our minister of education to pay tribute to an outstanding relation between France and Canada." Polonceaux added it takes a dedicated individual to win such a prestigious title, which is highly recognized in France.

"I was surprised when I found out [about receiving the award]. Pleasantly surprised," Thompson said. "It's one of those honours to put on your curriculum vitae."

Thompson said he received a letter from the French ambassador in Ottawa informing him of his accomplishment. Thompson was chosen as a recipient of the award due to his work in advancing the French culture and language nationally and internationally. He said he has been involved in many conferences and research projects worldwide, educating people about French society.

"This award is an impressive recognition of collaborative research and teaching in the area of humanities," Thompson said. He added he felt this is an award to share with the department of French and his colleagues.

"This award is concrete recognition of research that is a priority in Canada and to this department," he said.

Peter Mercer, VP-administration at Western, said he felt this award is very significant because Thomson is working outside of France. "This award is very rare and very prestigious. It is a remarkable that Clive is receiving it."

"Thomson is a strong chair and this award speaks highly of him as an administrator and a scholar," he said. "It also shows strength in the [French] program."

Mercer added the timing of the award is also appropriate. "The timing is nice because in the last few years students have been dissuaded from taking languages because of the false image of studying them." Mercer said he hoped this award will give Western an edge when potential students are choosing an institution at which to study languages.

He added other faculty members have received similar awards from other countries but not from France.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999