Ordre Des Palmes Academiques
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Ordre Des Palmes Academiques
Ordre des Palmes académiques
Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques avers.jpg
Commander's neck badge and ribbon
Awarded by Ministry of National Education of the French Republic
TypeOrder of merit
EstablishedDecoration: 1808
Order: 1955
Awarded forDistinguished contributions to education or culture
StatusCurrently constituted
Grand MasterPresident Emmanuel Macron
ChancellorJean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of National Education
GradesCommander, 1st Class
Officer, 2nd Class
Member/Knight, 3rd Class
Next (higher)Médaille de la Résistance
Next (lower)Order of Agricultural Merit
Palmes academiques Commandeur ribbon.svg
Palmes academiques Officier ribbon.svg
Palmes academiques Chevalier ribbon.svg
The three graded ribbon bars of the Order

The Ordre des Palmes académiques (French for "Order of Academic Palms") is a national order bestowed by the French Republic on distinguished academics and teachers and for valuable service to universities, education and science.[1] Originally established in 1808 by Emperor Napoleon as a decoration to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, it was changed into its current form as an order of merit on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty, making it one of the oldest civil honours bestowed by the French Republic.[2]



The original Palmes académiques was instituted on 17 March 1808 and was bestowed only upon teachers or professors.[2][3] In 1850, the decoration was divided into two classes:[1]

  • Officier de l'Instruction Publique (Golden Palms);
  • Officier d'Académie (Silver Palms).

In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to include major contributions to French national education and culture made by anyone, including foreigners. It was also made available to French expatriates who made major contributions to learning or education in the wider world.[]


Since 1955, the Ordre des Palmes académiques has had three grades,[1] each with a fixed number of recipients:

  • Commander (Commandeur) - gold palm of 60 mm surmounted by a laurel wreath (couronne) worn on necklet.[2]
  • Officer (Officier) - gold palm of 55 mm worn on ribbon with rosette on left breast.[2]
  • Knight (Chevalier) - silver palm of 50 mm worn on ribbon on left breast.[2]

The minimum age of conferment is 35 years.[1] Decisions on nominations and promotions are decided by the Minister of National Education. For those not connected to state-sponsored public education, or the Ministry of National Education, these honours are announced on 1 January, New Year's Day. For all others, they are made on 14 July, Bastille Day.[]

Notable recipients

French recipients

Foreign recipients

  • Lucijan Marija ?kerjanc, Slovene composer, conductor, pianist and musicologist
  • Bruno Bernard, Belgian professor and writer on export and business ethics[6]
  • Louis Dewis, born Isidore Louis Dewachter in Belgium. Merchant and later a post-impressionist painter, he was honored for his civic endeavors in the early 1900s
  • Allan L. Goldstein, American biochemist and co-discoverer of the Thymosins
  • Erskine Gwynne (1898-1948) American publisher of Paris based Boulevardier paper, 1927-1932
  • John Kneller, English-American professor and fifth President of Brooklyn College
  • Francis L. Lawrence, American educator and scholar specializing in French literature; classical drama and baroque poetry, President of Rutgers University 1990-2002[7]
  • Alice Lemieux-Lévesque, Canadian-American writer
  • Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho (2018)
  • Ahmad Kamyabi Mask, Iranian littérateur, writer, translator, publisher and Professor Emeritus of Modern Drama and Theater of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Tehran
  • Alfred Noe, Austrian historian of Romance studies
  • Léopold Sédar Senghor,[3] Senegalese poet, theoretician of Négritude, first President of Senegal (1960-80), and the first African to be elected as a member of the Académie française
  • Ali-Akbar Siassi, Iranian intellectual and psychologist who served as the country's Foreign Minister, Minister of Education and Chancellor of the University of Tehran.
  • Javad Tabatabai, Iranian philosopher and political scientist, Professor and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Tehran[8]
  • Buddy Wentworth, Namibian deputy education minister, for his contributions to the Namibian independence struggle[9]
  • Andrea Zitolo, Italian physical-chemist and material scientist
  • Zeus Salazar, Filipino Historian
  • Brian Zager, Principal Lafayette Academy, Founder of first Middle School Dual Language French Program in Manhattan; built a successful program of French; Native New Yorkers; through a rigorous curriculum earning the label Franceducation. Principal Zager met with First Lady Briggite Macron in September of 2019 to collaborate on and discuss social emotional learning.
  • Ralph M. Hester, Professor of French, Stanford University, co-author of Découverte et Création, the most widely used textbook for teaching French in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2000, Hester launched the Interdisciplinary Institute of French Studies, now the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, with partner funds from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Mimoza Ceka, teaching assistant of French Language in University of Tetovo, primary school teacher of French language in primary school "LIRIA" - Tetovo, and a collaborator of Alliance Française and Institut Français in North Macedonia.


The badge, unchanged since its creation in 1808, consists of a pair of violet-enamelled palm branches. It is suspended from a plain violet ribbon.[1]

Member/Knight (Chevalier) Officer (Officier) Commander (Commandeur)
Chevalier palmes academiques.jpg Ordre des Palmes académiques.jpg Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques avers.jpg
Palmes academiques Chevalier ribbon.svg Palmes academiques Officier ribbon.svg Palmes academiques Commandeur ribbon.svg


  1. ^ a b c d e Hieronymussen, Poul Ohm (1970). Orders, medals, and decorations of Britain and Europe in colour. London, U.K.: Blandford Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7137-0445-7. OCLC 768124951.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Décret n°55-1323 du 4 octobre 1955 portant institution d'un ordre des Palmes académiques". Legifrance. French Republic. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Les Palmes académiques, la plus ancienne distinction civile". Le Parisien. February 22, 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Monique Adolphe". Académie royale de médecine de Belgique. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Evangelista, Nick (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Sword. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-313-27896-9. OCLC 29954316.
  6. ^ "Ambassade de France à Bruxelles". 2020-04-24.
  7. ^ Lawrence, Francis L. Leadership in Higher Education: Views from the Presidency (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2006), 345.
  8. ^ Javad Tatabai Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine, Institut d'études avancées de Paris
  9. ^ "Former deputy minister Wentworth dies". The Namibian. 5 June 2014. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 2020.

Further reading

  • Mirabel-Sérodes, Françoise (2008). Les palmes académiques. Paris: NANEditions. ISBN 978-2-84368-072-4. OCLC 377991989.
  • Foëx, Emile (1978). Historie des Palmes Académiques. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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