Valdman Receives Médaille d’Or du Mérite
Award from La Renaissance Francaise Added to Professor Emeritus' Honors
Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
On April 16, Rudy Professor Emeritus Albert Valdman received the Médaille d’Or du Mérite Francophone from La Renaissance Française Delegation of the United States in a ceremony in the Federal Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. Valdman, a retired professor in the Department of French and Italian and in the Department of Linguistics, received the honor for his lifetime of work in promoting the study of French outside of France. La Renaissance Française is a public non-profit organization supported by the French government whose goal is the promotion of French language and culture throughout the world.
After opening remarks by Lauren Robel, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of IUB; Larry D. Singell, Jr., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Graham Paul, French Consul General of the Chicago Consulate, the medallion was presented to Dr. Valdman by Jane Robert, President of La Renaissance Française Delegation in the United States. Valdman gave a brief speech reflecting on his career and his particular interest in Louisiana French and Haitian Creole. He has received many honors over the years, including the Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French government and membership in the Ordre des Francophones d’Amériques from the government of Québec. At this ceremony, as before, he thanked his wife Hilde Valdman for her unwavering support, and for first spurring his interest in Haiti in the early 1960s.
The ceremony, hosted by Professor Andrea Ciccarelli, chair of the Department of French and Italian, was followed by a reception attended by many friends, students, and colleagues of Dr. Valdman. Professor Kevin Rottet, one of the co-editors of Valdman’s Dictionary of Louisiana French As Spoken in Cajun, Creole, and American Indian Communities (2009) was in attendance, as were Valdman’s two editorial assistants for the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Kelly Farmer (PhD student, French linguistics) and Joshua Gordon Zamora (PhD student, Second Language Studies). In addition to his continued service as editor of SSLA, Valdman still serves as the Director of the Creole Institute, which conducts research on Haitian Creole and produces and sells Haitian Creole learning materials. Creole Institute assistant and SSLA book review editor Deborah Piston-Hatlen (MA ’89) also attended the reception, which featured hors d’oeuvres and Cabernet Sauvignon (bien sûr).
Photo: Albert Valdman, Jane Robert, and Graham Paul