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France bestows Order of Merit on Kritzman

Posted 09/15/00

Lawrence Kritzman, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in Humanities and Professor of French, Italian and Comparative Literature, recently was awarded the Order of National Merit from the French government. The honor, which is given at the discretion of the President of France and is the second highest civilian award accorded by France, recognizes Kritzman's contribution to understanding of French culture.

Kritzman will be presented with the award in a ceremony at the French embassy late this fall or in the spring.

"I was very pleased to be honored for that which gives me so much pleasure," Kritzman said.

Kritzman's work has been recognized by the French government in the past. In 1990 he was made a chevalier, or knight, in l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He was then named to the higher rank of Officier in 1994.

Established in 1963, the Order of National Merit rewards meritorious service to society, according to Paula Cianci, who is in charge of decorations for the French Cultural Council's Office.

Academic achievement is typically acknowledged through the Palmes Académiques; further recognition of academics through the Order of National Merit demonstrates that the recipient's work has influence "beyond the university or classroom setting," Cianci said. Very few foreign nationals receive the Order of National Merit, she added.

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