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On October 5th, 2017, the Consul General of France in Toronto, Mr. Marc Trouyet, bestowed upon Mr. Pierre Riopel the insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques de la République française (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms of the French Republic), during a reception held at the Villa Loyola.

The Academic Palms, France’s oldest non-military distinction, recognizes those who actively contribute to culture and education, and to the expansion of the universal values held by France. It also recognizes contributions to the expansion of the francophone community and its cultural heritage, which is especially pertinent in Canada – a bilingual country having a 400-year old relationship with France. In particular, the French government wanted to recognize Mr. Riopel’s contribution to the development and vibrancy of the French language and of French-language postsecondary education in Canada.

Mr. Pierre Riopel, currently a member of the University of Sudbury Board of Regents, has worked over 25 years in the field of education where he has had a significant impact with his innovative spirit, leadership and expertise. He has worked at all levels of the education system (elementary/secondary, college and university), and during his career, has especially served the needs of Franco-Ontarian students. Before assuming the responsibilities of President at Collège Boréal from 2013 to 2016, he taught at the École des sciences de l'éducation, the French-language teacher training program at Laurentian University. He was also a secondary school teacher and principal, then superintendent and finally director of education at the Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario. Mr. Riopel holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Toronto as well as an Honours B.A. in History with a Minor in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. Mr. Riopel was also trained at the Leadership Institute for Superintendents, Graduate School of Education from Harvard University, and has completed studies towards a PhD (in Education) at the University of Montreal.

“Mr. Riopel is a member of our Board of Regents and we can testify to his commitment towards education, youth, and the francophone community, worthy of this attention overseas,” states Dr. Sophie Bouffard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sudbury. “We are pleased that we can benefit from his expertise to ensure the high quality of our services, but we are all the more thrilled that this deserving man has received such a prestigious recognition. We offer him our most sincere congratulations!”

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About the University of Sudbury
The University of Sudbury is proud of its bilingual and tri-cultural environment and of its Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person. As Northern Ontario’s longest-standing postsecondary institution and a member of the Laurentian University Federation, the University of Sudbury remains committed to a focus on a liberal arts education by providing programming in Journalism (French only), Folklore and Ethnology (French only), Religious Studies, Philosophy and Indigenous Studies. Detailed information about the University’s programs can be found on our web site.

About the Consulate General of France in Toronto
The Consulate General, whose jurisdiction extends to the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, is responsible for the administration of French nationals and the issuing of visas. Its diplomatic chancellery is responsible for monitoring and developing relations with the authorities and actors of both these provinces. Marc Trouyet had been providing the functions of the Consul General of France in Toronto since August 2015 (