President Browne receives the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French Ambassador in Ireland, H.E. Jean-Pierre Thébault at a ceremony at Résidence de France in Dublin.
Jun 07 2017 Posted: 10:43 IST

President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne awarded the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms).

One of France’s highest honours has been bestowed on Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. At a private ceremony hosted in the Residence of the French Ambassador, last week, Dr Browne was awarded the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms). Dr Browne is the first Irish University President to have received the honour.

The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is an award given by the French government to honour distinguished figures in culture and education. Originally started by Napoleon, the award assumed its current form in 1955, and at a ceremony this week at Résidence de France in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne joined the distinguished list of recipients.

The honour was bestowed on President Browne in recognition of both NUI Galway’s myriad links with France and his own academic work with French researchers and industry in manufacturing technology.

Speaking on receipt of this honour, President Browne said: “Galway city has a long and honourable tradition of exchange with France. Since the Middle Ages, trade between Galway and France has thrived. For NUI Galway as a modern world-class university on the periphery of Europe our links with France have never been more important and I am pleased to say that scholarship in the area of French is thriving and in high demand from students. Our university continues to build important research links with French universities and industry, building on a long tradition of co-operation. On a personal level I am humbled and honoured by this award, which I believe is a recognition of the myriad links which bind NUI Galway to France.

In his remarks at the event, Ambassador Thébault recognised NUI Galway’s record of achievement in developing important academic collaboration with a number of French universities and research organisations, including the University of Rennes; he cited the research co-operation between NUI Galway and Galway-based French company, Valeo; as well as referring to the University’s recent decision to name the Chair of French for the late French academician, Michel Déon, who has links with county Galway.

President Browne is joining a high calibre of individuals through receipt of this award, joining the same ranks as esteemed politicians, scientists, historians, artists, musicians, and even royalty.

Recent Ordre de Palmes Academiques have been awarded to NUI Galway academics, Sylvie Lannengrand (French) and JC Desplat (Centre for High Performance Computing).

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