(February 10, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary professor recognized as Humanist of the Year

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Dr. Dana Kress, professor of French at Centenary College of Louisiana, has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Humanist of the Year Award.

Dr. Dana Kress
Dr. Dana Kress

Presented by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, it is the highest recognition for Louisianans who have made outstanding contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities.

According to nominator Dr. David Rowe, president of Centenary College, Kress embodies "a deep commitment to life-long learning, a passionate engagement with the past that will help us transform the future, and a faith that education is the cornerstone of a life well-lived."

Since arriving at Centenary with a doctorate in French from Vanderbilt University, Kress has revealed and greatly expanded the understanding of Louisiana's French heritage statewide, nationally and internationally. He is responsible for founding the only French language newspaper in the United States, operated and written by Centenary College students, Le Tintamarre, and establishing Les Cahiers du Tintamarre and Les Editions Tintamarre - a press dedicated to re-printing, and printing for the first time, texts from the lost and suppressed history of French Louisiana. Dr. Kress is the editor-in-chief of this series of publications that now includes 40 published books, with 10 more in preparation.

Kress adds this honor to his other recognitions he has received while at Centenary. In 1998, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named him the Louisiana Professor of the Year; was honored by the City of Shreveport with "Dr. Dana Kress Day;" and received a Special Humanities Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

In 2000, French Consul General Bernard Maizeret of New Orleans inducted Kress into membership in the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, a knighthood established in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte and the highest academic distinction offered by the French government. On October 15, 2010, he was invested as Honorary Consul of France by the French Ambassador to the United States, Pierre Vimont.

Kress will be recognized with other statewide humanities award winners April 2 at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, La.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 373 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.