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City news, 24.12.2004 12:12

St. Petersburg University Rector Gets Top French Award

Lyudmila Verbitskaya Talking to RIA Novosti, people at St. Petersburg State University's information department noted that the award would be presented to Lyudmila Verbitskaya by France's Ambassador to Russia Jacques Cadais.

The Order of the Legion of Honor was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. This top French award is conferred on civilians and servicemen alike for their outstanding peace-time and war-time merits before the nation.

The Order of the Legion of Honor now has three classes, namely, holder, officer and commander, as well as two ranks, i.e. top officer and holder of the Grand Cross. Only those holding previous order classes can receive higher awards. The Order of the Legion of Honor is headed by a grand master, i.e. the President of the Republic, who receives the Grand Cross and the Order's chain on the day of his inauguration.

The list of Russian holders includes Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the St. Petersburg Hermitage museum, as well as prominent academics Nikolai Plate, Sergei Bagayev and Mikhail Alfimov.

Vladimir Putin had studied at Leningrad State University's law department, eventually becoming President of the Russian Federation.

Professor Lyudmila Verbitskaya, who holds a D. Sc. Degree, is a full-time member of the Russian Education Academy. She was born June 17, 1936 in Leningrad. Majoring in Russian language and literature Verbitskaya graduated from Leningrad State University in 1958. In April 1994 was elected rector of St. Petersburg State University. The international astronomy union named small planet No. 7451 after Verbitskaya. She received the Order of Friendship and the Order for Services to the Homeland, fourth class.

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