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Ronald W. Tobin, Ph.D., La Médaille d’Or de La Renaissance Française

Ronald W. Tobin is Research Professor of French at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was, until recently, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs. His accomplishments in the field of French and Francophone studies have earned him numerous awards and recognitions, namely: The Grand Prix du Rayonnement de la Langue et de la Littérature françaises granted by the Académie Française in 2006.

Knighthoods from the French government including the ranks of Chevalier (1972), Officier (1987), and Commandeur, (2005), the highest in the Order of Academic Palms.

The Academic Palms is not the only decoration by which France has chosen to distinguish Dr. Tobin: in 1984, he received the medal of Chevalier in the National Order of Merit and, in 1998, that of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.

The Québec Government also honored him in 1999 by inducting him into the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique.

Professor Tobin has enjoyed an impressive scholarly career. In addition to his fifteen books and editions, his journal and dictionary articles, book reviews, and prefaces number about 200. He served for twelve years as Editor of The French Review and has organized numerous scholarly meetings. He remains to this day a productive and original literary critic. Above all, Ronald Tobin has devoted himself to spreading the appreciation of French culture in our country. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of higher education both as a teacher and an administrator.

The Ph.D.s he has trained serve with distinction at institutions in and out of the United States, and his teaching was recognized when he was named 1984 Mortar Board Professor of the Year at UC Santa Barbara. His abiding passion for France has led him to his current activity of organizing presentations on “Why French Matters” to students in the local Santa Barbara high schools and at UC Santa Barbara. In highlighting the mutually beneficial, centuries-old relationship between France and the United States, Tobin is promoting his twin passions of French language and literature.


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