Character Close-Up: Prince Louis Lacoeur

By Arni Klever | 3/31/10 10:43pm

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Courtesy photo / lantonian embassy

To popes and presidents he is His Serene Highness Louis Giardin Valentin Lacoeur. To the Grand Valley State University community, he will be “just Louie.”

Every year GVSU welcomes hundreds of freshmen, transfer students and international students to its programs. Next fall, the university will enroll its first royal.

Grand Duke Louis Lacoeur is first in line to his country’s throne and 23rd in a 346-year-old dynasty of Lantonian rulers.

While GVSU may seem an odd choice for the 2009 winner of Hello magazine’s “Sexiest Royals Under 25,” Lantonian Ambassador Joe Kinge said the decision to attend GVSU was an obvious one for the prince upon learning his childhood tutor was now a GVSU faculty member.

“Professor Bill Loani was a favorite tutor of the prince as a child,” King said. “About a year ago the prince and Professor Loani resumed correspondence. It is customary in our country for the heir-apparent to spend one year abroad studying the government of a foreign nation. Loani knew of this custom and recommended Grand Valley for the purpose.”

Loani, who is an associate professor of international politics at GVSU, is a native of Lantonia, but currently resides in Walker, Mich.

“Lantonia is a primarily agricultural nation and relies on its ability to be self-sustaining for its survival,” Loani said. “Grand Valley has been making great strides in sustainability and the West Michigan region is focusing its efforts on green technology more now than ever. The prince knows he can learn a great deal by studying these programs and applying this knowledge to his home country.”

Lacoeur is a student of political science and business at the Conservatore Un’real in Lantonia, but will take courses in international relations, American history and environmental studies while at GVSU, where he will be enrolled as a senior.

While studying abroad has been tradition for Lantonian rulers since the Renaissance, Lacoeur will be the first in his family to attend a university in the Midwest.

“The prince is an avid sailor and is looking forward to taking advantage of Michigan’s beautiful lakes,” Loani said. “The climate of Lantonia is similar to that of Michigan, so we do not anticipate much difficulty in transition. Perhaps a bit more snow.”

Lacoeur will arrive in Grand Rapids in early June. His living location could not be disclosed, but he is slated to attend classes on both the Allendale and Pew campuses.

Those interested in following further updates on Lacouer’s arrival can go to Helen Waite, Lantonian public relations manager.

“This will only be my second time in the United States, so I am eager to learn about the similarities and differences between our two cultures,” Lacoeur said. “Professor Loani has greatly praised the people of Grand Valley in our correspondence and I look forward to meeting as many of the students and faculty as possible.”

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