French Delegation Includes Centenary on Its Tour of Shreveport

Contact: Mark Tiner, Sen. Mary Landrieu's office, 318-676-3085, or
Dr. Dana Kress or Lynn Stewart, Centenary College, 318-869-5120

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary College's Despujols collection and its outstanding French program are among the must-see stops that members of an exclusive French delegation have chosen for their Sept. 16 visit to Shreveport-Bossier.

The five-member delegation of the French Republic Senate's French-American Friendship Group will spend Thursday, Sept. 16 creating cultural and economic partnerships in Shreveport-Bossier during their week-long visit to Louisiana.

Hosted by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and the French Consulate in New Orleans, the delegation includes Paul Girod, vice president of the French Republic Senate, along with Senators Jacques Legendre, Andre Rouviere, Jacques Joly and Ladislas Poniatowski.

"For years, South Louisiana has had strong cultural and economic relationships with France. The same potential exists for North Louisiana, and this visit is a positive step toward building similar partnerships," Sen. Landrieu said. "This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Shreveport-Bossier's hospitality, labor force and infrastructure -- tools that will make potential economic and cultural partnerships much more likely."

At Centenary, the senators will tour a Despujols exhibit, which is part of a permanent collection by the French artist at the Meadows Museum of Art. They will also hear a presentation, done entirely in French, by Dr. Dana Kress, associate professor of French, and several of his students.

Officials at the French Consulate noted that Centenary's outstanding French program, its unique student-run French-language newspaper and the performance of its French graduates had captured the attention of the French delegation and others, both in France and Louisiana. Dr. Kress is the president of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and is Louisiana's Professor of the Year for 1998-99.

While in North Louisiana, the delegation's tour will also include Frymaster Corp., Southwestern Electric Power Co., the Chambers of Commerce, the Biomedical Research Foundation at the LSU Health Sciences Center and the Port of Shreveport-Bossier.

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