President Lindgren presents Ambassador Vimont with the distinguished President's Award.
(l to r) President Lindgren, Ambassador Vimont and R-MC Board of Trustees Member The Hon. Edmund T. DeJarnette Jr.
Ambassador Vimont addresses the enthusiastic crowd.
Addressing the enthusiastic crowd in Blackwell Auditorium, Ambassador Vimont said, “I’m very pleased to be at Randolph-Macon College. I’m impressed by the quality of students and the beauty of your campus.” He went on to share his insights into the European Union, and spoke at length on several topical issues, including climate change. Ambassador Vimont also told the audience that France has three environmental goals that it hopes to achieve by the year 2020: a significant reduction of greenhouse gases; an increase in energy efficiency; and an increase in renewable energy.
He also spoke about immigration, saying that France hopes to implement what he termed “professional immigration.” According to Ambassador Vimont, 95% of immigrants come to France on the basis of family ties, not for jobs. A “professional immigration plan” would bring some balance to the situation, requiring immigrants to enter the workforce. He acknowledged that the issue of immigration is one that is shared by many countries, including the United States.
Following his presentation, Ambassador Vimont answered questions from Randolph-Macon students. Asked about his role as an Ambassador, he replied, “It’s my job to help promote French culture and investments and to improve exchanges in trade, research and education.”
President Lindgren presented Ambassador Vimont with the distinguished President’s Award, saying, “On behalf of Randolph-Macon College, I would like to present you with this award, which recognizes your significant contributions to humanity. Please accept this award with our deepest admiration and appreciation.”
Ambassador Vimont was appointed Ambassador of France to the United States by President Nicolas Sarkozy on August 1, 2007. Prior to his present appointment, he served as chief of staff to the minister of foreign affairs, a position he had held since 2002. He served as ambassador and representative of France to the European Union from 1999 to 2002.