French government bestows honor on Fairfield professor


Skubly receives L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques Award

Image: SkublyColleagues refer to her as inspirational, and friends say she is a tireless activist who makes a difference in her community. Jacqueline De La Chapelle Skubly, a faculty member in the modern languages and literatures department at Fairfield University, was honored by the French government with the prestigious L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques award during an hour-long ceremony at the university. Yolanda Bosman from the Consulate General of France presented Skubly with the award.

The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is a French honor society that recognizes academics and educators for their contributions to the teaching and dissemination of French language and culture. "I feel very proud for being chosen for this honor, and it is one I never expected to receive," said Skubly.

Skubly's induction into L'Ordre des Palmes Academiques recognizes her extraordinary accomplishments over a 50-year career as an educator. "Professor Skulby is the first professor at Fairfield University to receive this award. We are indeed fortunate to have a scholar and a teacher of international renown in our ranks," said Mary Ann Carolan, associate professor of modern languages and literatures.

L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques was originally created by Napoleon in 1806 to pay tribute to the leading scholars at the University of Paris, and since 1866 has been open to foreign nationals for their contributions to French culture. It is one of the world's oldest civil awards.

Image: SkublyVincent Morrissette, an adjunct professor in the modern languages and literatures department, explained that an American educator would be honored to receive this award for having helped in the promotion of French national education and culture by the French government. "For Professor Skubly the Palmes Académiques is more than that; it is a long-time dream come true. It is akin to receiving the official seal of approval from the mother country," said Morrissette.

Morrissette said he nominated Skubly for the French government award because she has been an outstanding inspiration to generations of students, teachers and colleagues. "Professor Skubly has long deserved recognition for her lifetime of dedication to the expansion of minds and hearts," he said.

Skubly was born and educated in Paris, and later moved to Bridgeport, Conn., where she became a U.S. citizen. She is a retired professor at Housatonic Community College where she served as chairwoman of the Department of Foreign Languages. Skubly is currently an adjunct professor at Fairfield University, Housatonic Community College, and Sacred Heart University. Earlier in her career, she served as language coordinator for intensive courses in French language for the Peace Corps at Dartmouth College. For several years she was a reader for the College Board of Advanced Placement Test for French essays.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on May 9, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 299

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