The Boivin Center for French Language and Culture, in its 35th year at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, proudly announces its spring program, One Island, One Family, One World, featuring the notable environmentalist, Gaston Déry, on Monday, April 6th, 2020 in the Grand Reading Room of the Claire T. Carney Library on the UMass Dartmouth campus at 4 PM.  Parking is available in lot 13.


Born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, in 1952, Gaston Déry holds a Bachelor of Applied Science/Forest Engineering and a Master of Applied Science/Planning from Laval University.  He has been recognized for having revitalized Île-aux-Pommes, a family property, located in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, for which he received, an Environmental Phoenix in 2007.


Monsieur Déry contributed to the development of policy for the protection of green spaces in Quebec and of urban woodlands. As President and CEO of the Quebec Sawmill Manufacturers Association, he oversaw the development and implementation of an industrial policy focused on sustainable development of the sawing industry on the national and international level.  He participated in the Canada-United States agreement on lumber exports.  He has held positions of authority on various sustainability projects.  Since 2016, Gaston has been president of the Gaston Déry, Inc., a company that devotes its energies to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.


The subject of his talk will be the fundamental role of individual action in environmental protection.  He will discuss specifically the role of Île-aux-Pommes in contributing to the biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River.  He will guide us through the process of turning a family-owned island into a nesting area reserve for eider duck colonies in the St. Lawrence estuary and will discuss the need for constant attention by the Déry family and scientists from many disciplines to maintain the islands “sustainable restoration.”


His message will be that the protection of biodiversity remains essential for human survival.  It requires individual attention and vigilance of one’s activity as an effective and concrete way to face the challenge of global warming.  The protection of biodiversity is realized through small concrete actions that require collaboration between individuals, regardless of their position in society, and governments in order to meet this challenge.


 A Q&A and book signing will follow the lecture.  For further information about this program, please contact Maria Sanguinetti at or by calling 508-991-5096.


Please consider contributing to future events at the Boivin Center.  We will let you know shortly how this can be done.



Past events:

Illustrious individuals who have honored the Boivin Center with their presence

  • 1986: Alice Parizeau, Lucie Therrien
  • 1988: Jean-François Somain
  • 1989: Roch Carrier, Roger Violette, Omer Boivin, Lois Pines
  • 1991: Pierre Capretz, Dr.Gaëtan Brulotte
  • 1992: Brian Thompson, Gérard Le Tendre, Jacques Borel
  • 1993: Naïm Kattan
  • 1994: Alice Dawn, Albert Coté, Maxime LeForestier, Serge Kerval, Richard Wilbur, Peter Sandler
  • 1996: Dr. Madamou Soumaré, Normand Demers, Jacques Parizeau
  • 1997: Frederick Wiseman, Annie Royer, Patrick Noe, Misha DeFonseca
  • 1999: Nicole Brossard, Helene Dorion, Francine du Plessix Gray
  • 2000: Julia Child
  • 2001: Pierre de Boisdeffre, Stephane Chemlewsky, Frédéric Martel, Lisa Gossels
  • 2002: Anne-Christine Rice, Le Grand Dérangement, Marie-Claire Blais, Senator Paul Simon
  • 2003: Prof. William Carter, Marcel Marceau, Polly Platt, Maia Weschler
  • 2004: Prof. John Rassias, Prof. Adam Braver, Véronique Mistycki, Timothy Mooney
  • 2005: Prof. Emmanuel Dongala, David Plante, Lucie Therrien, Josée Vachon
  • 2006: Prof. Patrick Henry, Richard Hétu
  • 2007: Claudia Hommel, Bob Moreen, Jean-Claude Baker
  • 2008: Sophie Freud, Frédérique Hébrard, Louis Velle
  • 2009: Florence Delay, John De Mado
  • 2010: David Slavitt, Ruth Hartz, Margo Moore
  • 2011: Linda Urbach
  • 2012: Joan Nathan, French Cajun Celebration
  • 2013: Charles Rearick, Sophie Michaux and Artem Belogurov
  • 2014: Kathleen Turner, Guila Clara Kessous, Dr. Jeremiah J. Lowney Jr., Dr. Laura Morelli, Eric Vincent
  • 2015: Jacques Pépin, Sarah Lew Miller, Joyce Lazarus, Mo Willems, Kate Betts, Lucie Therrien and Josée Vachon
  • 2016: Valéry Freland, François Furstenberg, Pierre Thiam, Annie Royer and Les Garçons Musettes
  • 2017:  Alan Hoffman and The Bourbonnais Regiment, Pauline Frommer, William Alexander
  • 2018:  Ciril Hitz, Mark Helprin
  • 2019:  David Vermette, Norman Desmarais, Elaine Sciolino