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Dennis Stroughmatt, La Médaille d’Or du Rayonnement Culturel

Dennis Stroughmatt is a teacher and musician and has been a cultural and educational influence on the subjects of Creole French, Illinois French and other forms of French language in the Mid-West for over 20 years. He has also brought French creole music to teachers, students and the general public.

Dennis has a Masters of History, which enriches his classes as an adjunct Instructor of French-Humanities-History at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Illinois. What is exceptional about Dennis is his volunteer time as a presenter at conventions, his music presentations for schools and his generosity in sharing his knowledge of French language as it is, or was, spoken in various regions. Dennis learned this language and music from the grandparents of people in the Mid-West communities where he lived or visited.

Student enrollment in French and Illinois Creole French has increased significantly at Wabash Valley College from 6 students in 2014 to 19 students in Fall of 2015, leveling off at 9 – 12 students each Fall since.

Major French Festivals regularly welcome the participation of Dennis. The Old Mines Fête de l’Automne held the first Sunday in October in Fertile, MO has grown from about 400 attendees to 4,000 annually with visitors from France, Belgium, Quebec, Ontario and many US cities. Lafayette, LA now hosts 60,000-70,000 attendees at its Festivals Acadiens. Workshops are regularly on Dennis’ schedule as he continues to reach out to as many people as possible.

Dennis Stroughmatt has a passion, energy and commitment to this traditional form of French language and culture in the United States and should be recognized for his effective past-efforts and encouraged to continue to spread his message to the groups and schools mentioned above.


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