Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel awarded France’s Order of Academic Palms

On a warm sunny day, Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel was awarded one of France’s highest honours, the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms). The honour was bestowed on Ipperciel in recognition of his tremendous and wide-reaching accomplishments as a scholar, for his efforts to foster bilingual education in Ontario and for his role reinforcing the place of the French language in Canada.

Above: From left, Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel with Marc Trouyet, the Consul General of France in Toronto

On May 31, Marc Trouyet, the Consul General of France in Toronto, presented the insignia of the Knight of the Order of Academic Palms to Ipperciel during a reception held in the historic rose garden on the Glendon campus. Sixty people attended the reception.

“On behalf of the French Minister of National Education, I am honoured to make you a Knight in the Order of Academic Palms,” said Trouyet to Ipperciel. “At this significant moment when Ontario has rejoined the International Organisation of la Francophonie (IOF), and there is a greater need to understand what it means to be a world open to trade, Glendon exemplifies the best way to shape citizens of the world.”

Trouyet paid tribute to Ipperciel’s role as principal of Glendon College. In his tribute, he noted that Ipperciel’s vision has been instrumental in Glendon’s leading role in bilingual education in Canada. “As the head of Glendon College, you have engaged in strengthening the place of our language and you have done it with tenacity, diplomacy and creativity, by diversifying the availability of instruction in French but also, on a daily basis, with your delightful concept of asymmetric bilingualism,” said Trouyet.

Marc Trouyet, the Consul General of France in Toronto, presented the insignia of the Knight of the Order of Academic Palms to Ipperciel

Beaming, Ipperciel was gracious in his acceptance of the honour, stating that the award was important to Glendon and York University. “We are given a mission at Glendon, to radiate Francophonie and Francophile locally, nationally and internationally. We take this mandate seriously, in particularly in the international dimension,” said Ipperciel. “The awarding of the Academic Palms is a beautiful gift from France and will give a second wind to our internationalization efforts.”

Donald Ipperciel offers his thanks to France for the honour

He extended his sincere gratitude for the honour that France had bestowed on him and spoke about Glendon’s unique and special role with France. “Our relationship to France and to the French is special,” said Ipperciel. “We have every year a significant number of students coming from France to study at Glendon, which greatly enhances the French experience in our institution. More and more, we hear French in Glendon`s hallway, and for that, we have to, a significant extent, our French students to thank. And conversely, we have many of our students who are going to France, to the Grandes Écoles and the Universities in Paris, at the Sorbonne, the École normale supérieur, Science Po, Strasbourg and all across France. Our dual degree with EMLyon is just our latest collaboration with French institutions, in which the French Consulate was an important partner.”

Ordre des Palmes Académiques

The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is an Order of Chivalry of France for academics, cultural and educational figures. Originally a decoration founded by Emperor Napoléon to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, the scope of the award was widened in 1866. It now includes significant and lasting contributions to French national education and culture by anyone in the world.

To view a photo album of the event, visit

More about Donald Ipperciel

Ipperciel began a five-year term as principal of Glendon College at York University, on July 1, 2014. Prior to his appointment, he served as Vice-Dean (2012-2014), Associate Dean Information Technology (2011-2014) and as Assistant Dean Research (2007-2010), as well as Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Alberta, Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ).

Ipperciel’s scholarly record includes more than 60 publications (books, chapters and articles), in addition to presentations at more than 60 academic conferences in English, French, and German. He is a specialist in contemporary German philosophy, with his recent research focusing on the theory of nationalism and the nation, as well as on Canadian nationalism and multiculturalism. From 2002 to 2012, he held the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy and Canadian Studies at CSJ.

His teaching skills have twice been recognized by CSJ’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and he is regarded as a leader in teaching technology, spearheading initiatives in blended learning, Moodle courses, language labs, and smart classrooms. In 2011, he founded Oohoo IT Services, a spin-off company specializing in learning technologies.