Ambassador Delattre Honors U.S. Educator
On July 31, Ambassador François Delattre awarded Dr. William Arceneaux the decoration of Commander in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques. The award recognizes Dr. Arceneaux’s lifelong dedication to supporting French language education, his work in the public and private sectors of higher education, and his commitment to establishing scholarships for students studying French.
- Ambassador François Delattre and Dr. William Arceneaux
More than 60 guests attended the event, including Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, the Ambassadors of Monaco and Morocco to the United States, and the new Executive Director of Alliance Française, Sarah Diligenti. Citing his “exceptional merits and extraordinary accomplishments,” Amb. Delattre praised Dr. Arceneaux as one of the “most respected figures of the francophone world in Louisiana.”
In addition to his work with La Fondation Louisiane and the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, Dr. Arceneaux has spend nearly 30 years implementing French language programs throughout the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Arceneaux’s contributions to American education and French studies set a theme of bilingualism that carried throughout his career. Paying tribute to this theme, Amb. Delattre presented the award in both languages, underscoring the importance of Dr. Arceneaux’s work, and the lasting relationship between France and the United States.
- Beth Courtney (President of Louisiana Public Broadcasting), Dr. Arceneaux and his wife, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) and Ambassador François Delattre
“I was struck by Dr. Arceneaux’s energy and commitment to the French language through partnerships and cooperation, which opens news chapters in Louisiana’s past and future with France,” said Amb. Delattre.
Most recently, Dr. Arceneaux has created a grant through the French-American Chamber of Commerce for American college students studying French. France has previously awarded Dr. Arceneaux the decoration of Chevalier and Officier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 1984 and 2008.
The Ordre des Palmes Académiques was founded in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte to honor professors at the University of Paris. Today, the award is granted to both French natives and foreigners for their contribution and support of the French language and culture throughout the world.