Ben-Gurion University of the Negev conferred seven honorary doctorates on outstanding individuals (pictured above) on Tuesday evening on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva: Prof. Linda B. Buck, USA; Hon. Julia Gillard, Australia; Prof. Eric S. Lander, USA; Ellen S. Marcus, USA; Prof. Stanley B. Prusiner, USA; and Carole and Marcus Weinstein, USA.
BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi lauded the recipients' and welcomed them to the BGU family.
"We use the occasion of the Board of Governors meeting to award honorary degrees to persons who have distinguished themselves by academic, scientific or creative achievement, who have rendered outstanding service to the University, or whose activities have been of notable benefit to humanity, the Jewish people or the State of Israel", she said.
"The honorary degree award practice dates back to the Middle Ages, when for various reasons a university might be persuaded, or otherwise see fit, to grant exemption from some or all of the usual statutory requirements for the awarding of the degree. The earliest honorary degree on record was awarded to Lionel Woodville in the later 1470s by the University of Oxford. He later became the bishop of Salisbury.
"Although personally, I am not too fond of some of the Middle Age practices that still exist in academia, I do like the retaining of this one. It allows us to express gratitude and appreciation to the scientific, cultural, public and philanthropic communities. It also affords us the opportunity to meet with outstanding role models.
"Moreover, for us, the acceptance of an honorary degree by a candidate is an acknowledgement of our own merit and honors our institution and what we stand for. This is particularly significant for Israeli universities now in view of international voices to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
"Albert Einstein said, 'Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.'"
"Our mission is to educate the future decision makers, scientists, scholars, educators and leaders of Israel. Here, at BGU we work hard to create an environment that encourages critical thinking with a social conscience and we are proud of our graduates who go out into the world with much more than facts and figures, determined to do well, to contribute and to make a difference.
She concluded, "So this evening is also about celebrating and cherishing contribution. Not only in terms of financial support, but also the giving and sharing of oneself in order to create and build. Contributing talent, expertise and time in order to forge change and to impact society in each of their fields – the individuals here tonight, as you will soon realize, have all gone above and beyond and are truly outstanding role models".
President Carmi praised the recipients individually:
Prof. Linda S. Buck (pictured above) is an outstanding role model for all young people and especially women interested in science and drawn to academic research. She is a physiologist and researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. Through her research, Buck was able to determine how the brain processed different types of smells, and with her team pieced together a portrait of how the brain's olfactory bulb functions. She is a laureate of many prestigious distinctions and recipient of numerous awards, including a Nobel Prize in 2004.
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Hon. Julia Gillard (pictured above) was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and the first woman ever to serve in that leading role in her country. Her 2012 celebrated speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life created a storm and had worldwide impact. She is dedicated to the promotion of quality education worldwide and among other roles, she serves as a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institute and as Patron of Camfed, a Campaign which aims to tackle poverty and inequality and to empower young women to step up as leaders of change. Earlier this year Ms. Gillard received the honor of Companion of the Order of Australia.
Hon. Julia Gillard Scroll.pdf
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Prof. Eric S. Lander (pictured above) is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A man of tremendous talents and accomplishments -a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician. Dr. Lander has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the human genome project. This groundbreaking international research effort aims to use DNA information to develop new ways to treat, and prevent thousands of diseases that afflict humankind. He has received numerous honors and awards including the Dan David Prize of Israel and was co-chair of U.S. President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Prof. Eric S. Lander Scroll.pdf
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Ellen S. Marcus (pictured above) is a central member of the Ben-Gurion University family. Her connection to BGU, initially fostered by her dear parents, Dr. Howard and Lottie Marcus, of blessed memory, has grown stronger over time. Her faith in the transformative power of the University to change the face of the Negev and to raise a new generation of researchers and leaders, led her to become an active and important part of the non - executive leadership team here. Ellen’s passion for the University and for the Negev is like that which our great founder, David Ben-Gurion, demonstrated. In her work for BGU, she surely carries his torch.
Ellen. S. Marcus Scroll.pdf
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Prof. Stanley B. Prusiner (pictured above) is the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry at the University of California. His life’s work and research has focused on trying to understand and so help find cures for currently incurable diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – diseases which have such a devastating effect on sufferers and their families. In high school he was nicknamed ‘little genius’ for his work on a repellent for Boxelder bugs! From there his path was paved to the groundbreaking research, which led to the remarkable discovery of prions, a class of infectious self-reproducing pathogens, which can cause neurodegenerative diseases. His contribution to scientific research is internationally recognized and he received the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work.
Prof. Stanley B. Prusiner Scroll.pdf
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Carole and Marcus Weinstein (pictured above) are prominent business leaders and philanthropists, dear friends and supporters of Ben-Gurion University and newly appointed members of our Board of Governors. They consider their philanthropy not as charity, but rather as an investment. They are deeply committed to global education, the promotion of Jewish values worldwide and the development and welfare of the State of Israel. Here at BGU, they saw an opportunity to make a momentous contribution to the future of cyber security research and they embraced it whole- heartedly.
The new Carole and Marcus Weinstein Software and Information Systems Engineering and Cyber Security Building houses laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, and offices, accommodating the various needs of information systems engineering and cyber security training and research. The building was inaugurated on Tuesday morning as part of BGU’s 47th Annual Board of Governors Meeting.
Carole and Marcus Weinstein Scroll.pdf
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