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Former Educator at Catholic University of Lille Receives Honorary Degree

(Posted May 6, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Gerard Lepoutre, former dean of the Diocese of Lille, France, and a former professor and administrator at the Catholic University of Lille, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Juniata College May 12 at 2 p.m. during Juniata's 124th commencement ceremony.

Lepoutre, an ordained Catholic priest and physical chemist, served as a visiting professor at Juniata College during the 1980-81 academic year. Together with Juniata professor emeritus of chemistry William Russey, Lepoutre was instrumental in establishing an exchange program between Juniata and the Catholic University of Lille.

He was ordained in 1945. Lepoutre, a resident of Ennetieres-en-Weppes, France, earned a bachelor's degree in theology from the Catholic University of Lille in 1946. He went on to earn a doctorate in physical chemistry from Yale University in 1953, and earned another doctoral degree in physical chemistry from Lille University in 1959.

Lepoutre started his academic career as a teacher at the Catholic College of Roubaix from 1942 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1951. In 1953 he was named a teacher and researcher at the Catholic University of Lille. He was promoted to professor in 1960 and served as vice rector of the university from 1960 to 1967. He served as rector of the university from 1968 to 1971. He retired from the university in 1984.

He was named dean of the Diocese of Lille in 1984 and served in that position until 1993. He also served as an adviser for the Interdiocesan Seminary in Lille from 1993 to 1997. He retired in 1997.

He was a representative of the Vatican to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France from 1963 to 1968, and served as assistant secretary of the International Federation of Catholic Universities from 1963 to 1968.

He has published numerous papers in scientific journals and he is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the British Chemical Society and French Chemical Society.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.