Consul General De Boissière
Left to Right:
Professor Caitilyn Allen , Consul General of France Jean-Baptiste de Boissière,
Professor Don Waller, and Professor Harvey Jacobs. Photo: Susan Jacobs
The Center for Interdisciplinary French Studies was pleased to welcome the Consul General of France in Chicago, Mr. Jean-Baptiste de Boissière to UW-Madison on March 27th, 2008. In a private ceremony at the Maison Française, Mr. de Boissière awarded the Palmes Académiques, France's highest academic honor, to Professors Caitilyn Allen (Plant Pathology), Donald Waller (Botany), and Harvey Jacobs (Urban and Regional Planning), for their work in implementing the UW/Montpellier-SupAgro graduate exchange program. (Complete text of the ceremony)
Mr. de Boissière also delivered a public talk, "The New Context of the French-American Relation,” to students and faculty in Ingraham Hall. In particular, he underlined the common values of the American and French people dating back to the Bill of Rights and the Déclaration des droits de l'homme, as well as America's appreciation for French art and culture. Citing Kennedy's disagreement with DeGaulle over the Vietnam War and the more recent Iraq conflit, Mr. de Boissière argued that, although the U.S. and France have always been fascinated with each other, they have difficulty 'managing assymetry' and reconciling their divergent points of view. President Sarkozy's visit to the U.S. Congress in November 2007, however, signaled a new era of Franco-American Cooperation.
To read the official press release and learn more about the Palmes recipients, please click here. To see more photos, click here.