President Peter Devlin invested as an Officer of the French Legion of Honour.
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, Fanshawe President Peter Devlin was invested into France's National Order of the Legion of Honour in recognition of his efforts to promote strong relations between the Canadian and French Armies while he was Commander of the Canadian Army.
The National Order of the Legion of Honour was established by French Emperor Napolean Bonaparte in May 1802 to recognize distinguished accomplishments of service to France and is the highest decoration in France. It is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). Peter Devlin was welcomed in the degree of Officer.
Left to right: French Vice Chief of Defence Staff General Gratien Maire, Fanshawe President Peter Devlin, and French Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis.
"I am tremendously honoured to receive this award from France," said Devlin. "The French Army is an important ally to Canada and it was rewarding to have strong, courageous and professional French and Canadian soldiers working together."
Devlin was appointed Fanshawe's fifth President in September 2013. Prior to his joining the College he served in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 35 years and was the Commander of the Canadian Army from June 2010 to July 2013. He deployed on several operational missions to Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq and always encouraged international cooperation between armies.
Throughout his extensive career Devlin developed professional and friendly ties with the French Army. His interest in the French Army was demonstrated in 2012 when he accepted a French exchange officer into his headquarters. He supported unit exchanges and the provision of observers on military training exercises which contributed to strong affiliations and mutual understanding between the two Armies – an activity that he continues today, but now in the post-secondary education sector.
"All great initiatives start with great relationships," said Devlin. "One of my roles at Fanshawe is to help foster and build relationships – with industry, employers, government, educators, alumni and of course students. Finding a mutual point of interest is critical to unlocking potential."
General Gratien Maire, French Vice Chief of Defence Staff, presented the award to President Devlin last evening at the French Embassy at 42 Sussex Drive, Ottawa. The event was hosted by His Excellency Nicolas Chapuis, the new French Ambassador to Canada.
For further information, please visit Fanshawe's media contact page.