The patron of the third MATA class of 2019-2021 is GILBERT DU MOTIER, MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE (‘LAFAYETTE’).
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), known as Lafayette, was a French officer who participated in the American War of Independence, commanding US troops amongst others during the Siege of Yorktown. As the co-author – with Abbé Sieyès and in consultation with Thomas Jefferson – of the 1789 Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen), he later also became a central figure in the French Revolution. The Declaration is widely regarded as one of the major documents expressing the core values of the Revolution. His life-long combat for the ideas of Enlightenment and engagement during both the American and French revolutions earned him the nickname ‘Hero of the Two Worlds’. During a tour across the 24 states of the USA in 1824-1825, he laid the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Boston, MA. On this occasion, he took some soil from Bunker Hill, under which he is buried in Paris. In 2002, he was made an honorary citizen of the United States of America.
More information about Lafayette can be found here.