Fanshawe President Peter Devlin receives France's highest decoration

LONDON, ON, Feb. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - On Thursday, February 19, 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.

"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.

About Fanshawe
Fanshawe is one of Ontario's largest colleges offering diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs to 18,000 full time and 24,000 part time students each year. Its campuses, located in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock, serve close to half a million people with a promise to educate, engage, empower and excite. For nearly 50 years, Fanshawe has been helping people to unlock their potential and achieve success. The College attracts students from 50 countries every year and opens up a world of possibilities through more than 200 degree, diploma and certificate programs, along with apprenticeship training. Fanshawe has over 160,000 alumni world-wide.

SOURCE Fanshawe College

Image with caption: "(l-r) General Gratien Maire, French Vice Chief of Defence Staff; Fanshawe President Peter Devlin; and His Excellency Nicolas Chapuis, French Ambassador to Canada, celebrate President Devlin’s investiture into France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour. (CNW Group/Fanshawe College)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Fanshawe College (CNW Group/Fanshawe College)". Image available at:

For further information: Karrie Burke, Communications Officer, Fanshawe College, 519-452-4493,


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