Mary B. Emory, Médaille d’Or du Mérite Francophone


Mary Emory has an exceptional record of service to French cultural organizations. As president of the Alliance Française of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she oversaw unprecedented growth in membership and established and raised the organization’s first endowment fund.


Several of her local AF initiatives have served as model projects that have been adopted by other chapters in the United States. As a member of the board of directors of the Federation of Alliances Françaises – USA, she edited the Federation’s newsletter communicating with all the Alliances in the United States as well as editing the Federation’s magazine Le Mag. She then served as vice president of the Federation, chaired its annual meeting program, and hosted an annual meeting in her home city of Milwaukee.

In 2009, Ms. Emory became one of the founding members of American Friends of Musée d’Orsay, which she currently serves as secretary. This group supports the mission of the Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, which house one of the world’s preeminent collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern French art.

Ms. Emory has also worked to improve her city and state by serving as president of Milwaukee’s Skylight Theater; president of Milwaukee’s Friends of the Conservatory of Music; volunteer for more than 30 years for the United Performing Arts Fund; co-chair of the Silver Renaissance Campaign to renovate the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts; president of the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin; and member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Foundation board and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School for the Arts Grand Viennese Ball Committee.

Ms. Emory was recognized in 1999 by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.