UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Norris Lacy, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of French and Medieval Studies at Penn State, has received the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society’s Award for Lifetime Service to Arthurian Studies. The society comprises nearly 1,200 scholars interested in the study of the Arthurian realm in history, literature, art, film and popular culture; more than 300 libraries subscribe to its annual Bibliographical Bulletin.
The award is unique in the history of the society. The citation noted, ''We have created this exceptional commendation specifically to honor Norris for his extraordinary contributions to our field and to the society. It is impossible to imagine what Arthurian studies would be like without (him).''
Lacy served on the faculty of the Department of French and Francophone Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts from 1998 through 2012. He is a leading expert on early French literature and the author or editor of numerous books and articles covering all periods of Arthuriana, including two volumes since he retired from Penn State in 2012.
He has directed 20 doctoral dissertations in the field of medieval studies. In addition, Lacy has served as president of both the International Arthurian Society and the IAS-North American Branch.
The French Ministry of Culture honored Lacy by naming him a Knight in the Order of Academic Palms in 1988, and in 2003, elevated him to Officer in the Order of Academic Palms for his contributions to education and to the highest level of scholarship on the culture of France.