57-year career devoted to French language and culture
Consul General of France awards National Order of Merit to former JU Professor Suzanne Carrell
Given her personal and professional path and her generosity combined with her devotion to promote French language and culture abroad, it is easy to understand how much France is grateful to Suzanne Carrel.
After obtaining a Master’s degree in “Humanities and Foreign Language” from the University of Algiers, she moved to the United States where she began her career as a French professor at the Unvisersity of Jacksonville, Florida.
Upon her arrival in Florida, she founded in 1952 the “Congress of French Culture in Florida”, that she still chairs today.
The “Congress of French Culture in Florida” aims to encourage the learning of French language through various competitions with the theme of French language and culture. The winners of the competition are awarded the “Suzanne Carrell scholarship”.
Such a congress is unique in the United States and is officially recognized by the French Government and fervently supported by the Cultural Department of the French Consulate in Miami.
She also generously gives her time and energy into helping and assisting the French community of Florida with several activities.
She established in 1961 the Alliance francaise in Jacksonville, which Suzanne Carrell directed until 1986, before becoming an active member on the board.
Under her guidance, the first program of French as a Foreign Language (FLE) at the University of Jacksonville was established in 1974.
France is also grateful Mrs. Carrell’s dedication and service provided through social committees and activities.
She contributed, with the help of Robert Goulaine, to the creation of a sister-cities relationship between the Chambers of Commerce of Nantes and Jacksonville from 1980 to 1986. This town-twinning partnership is having great success in constantly growing trade.
In 1989 she also helped promote the Nantes’ Muscadet by becoming a member of the organization "La Duchesse Anne."
After 35 years of teaching at the University of Jacksonville, Mrs. Carrell announced her retirement in 1989.
However, she is still vigorously leading and diversifying activities through various organizations, especially through the "Congress of the French Culture in Florida" and the French Alliance of Jacksonville for which, she organized the 50th anniversary in spring 2011.
Susan Carrell’s involvement is also providing an indispensable help to the Honorary Consul in Jacksonville, François Kloc, Chairman of the French Alliance.
For her commitment and dedication, she was rightfully made Knight of Academic Palms in 1967 and Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2002.
Given Madame Suzanne Carrell’s unique personality and her extraordinary engagement throughout a 57-year career devoted to French language and culture, she will be awarded the medal of Officier "l’Ordre national du Mérite.”
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Article published Sept. 19, 2012.