August 22, 2011
By Doug Carroll
Olivier Bouclier, a gentleman in every respect, can recall an occasion when he might have given a different impression.
Bouclier, a native Frenchman with an accent that gives him away, was presenting at the Ken Blanchard College of Business research colloquium. He observed that his business suit seemed out of place amid the casual attire of others.
"I said, 'I need to undress myself,' when I meant 'underdress,'" he recalled with a laugh on Friday at a farewell party in the Williams Building on campus.
Olivier Bouclier (in front, white shirt) and his KBCOB colleagues
Such lost-in-the-translation moments happened occasionally with Bouclier, who began at the University in 2006 and became assistant dean of KBCOB a year later. He and his wife are returning to France, where he will teach for a business school in Normandy.
He will be missed, all agreed in saying goodbye.
"He's really bright and a great strategic thinker," said Dr. Kevin McClean of KBCOB. "He showed great dedication to our students. I would sometimes say things that were idiomatic and he'd have to translate, especially when they were coming from a New Yorker like me.
"He was a good guy to consult with, and a very decent person. He's humble and very caring, with a good sense of values."
Dean Kevin Barksdale, a native Southerner, recalled meeting Bouclier two years ago - and feeling thathe was the one sounding different.
"I thought, 'This guy doesn't like me very much,'" Barksdale said. "We sometimes never know when lasting and meaningful friendships are forming in life.
"We'll never be the same without Olivier. His imprint on this campus will remain."
Bouclier joked about returning to a life of leisure in France.
"You know - feel the love, enjoy the food, never get to the point," he said to those assembled in the Center for Learning and Advancement . "You're all welcome to visit, just not at the same time."
Normandy, which is about two hours from Paris, is a significant tourist stop for its D-Day memorial.
"(The French) still remember, and with gratitude," Bouclier said, adding that the memorial "should be on everyone's bucket list to visit."
Bouclier expects to conclude his doctoral study with Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) in April 2012 and will return to the States then.
Of his time at GCU, he said: "This place has changed me and I've learned a lot. I feel that I'm leaving many friends behind. It's the right decision, but it's difficult. I promise I will stay in touch."
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or email@example.com.