Lance Donaldson-Evans, La Médaille d’Or des Valeurs Francophones


Lance Donaldson-Evans is Professor Emeritus of French language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught for 43 years until his retirement in 2011.


A native Australian, he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales (Newcastle University College), and subsequently an MA in French at the University of Melbourne.


He completed a doctorate at the University of Geneva, specializing in French Renaissance literature and culture. His thesis, written under the direction of Jean Rousset, dealt with the poetry of Jean de La Ceppède.


He has served as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages at Penn and Chair of the Faculty Senate. In addition to his teaching and administrative tasks, he was also Co-Director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, an innovative program combining degrees in business and arts and sciences, with a strong foreign language component.


He personally monitored those who had chosen French as a target language. The recipient of a Lindback Teaching Award, he has authored books and articles on various aspects of French Renaissance literature, as well as on the contemporary French spy novel. One of his publications, One Hundred Great French Books, a guide for the general reader to literary works in French from the Middle Ages to the present, was favorably reviewed by the Wall Street Journal in April, 2010. He was named Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques in 2008.


He currently lives in Media, Pennsylvania with his wife, Mary. When he’s not traveling and/or spending time with his three beautiful and brilliant grandchildren, he continues to do research on French poetry of the early 17th century.

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