U of C’s French Connection

By Diana Tatarcguk

May 12-14 ceremonies opened the U of C Paris Center.

The Paris Center has a core faculty that reflects the U of C traditions of excellence: Professor Robert Morrissey of the Romance languages and literatures department is the director of the Center, Sylvie Garnier is the academic director and longstanding French professor and linguist for U of C programs in Paris; and Sebastien Greppo and Astrid Veyrat are the administrative director and administrative assistant, respectively. They have all been central to establishing a Chicago home in Paris, oftentimes inviting students to their homes for dinner and over holidays.

The inaguration gathered U of C administrators and alumni and French colleagues of the University. Events included a meeting of the Paris Center Joint Visiting Committee; tours of Hôtel de Ville and a luncheon hosted by Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, and attended by Chicago’s Mayor Daley; a lecture by Laurent Fabius, former Prime Minister of France, about secularism in France; a tour of the French National Library; a visit to the Senate; a reception at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador; and, of course, the dedication of the Paris Center.

Now, as a landmark in the French and European intellectual communities, the U of C hopes to be a center for growing intellectual excellence in Europe and a link in mending transatlantic relations between the U.S. and France.