Hebrew University Convocation: President Peres, EC President Barroso, Nobel Laureate Kahneman Among Honorees and 336 Doctoral Graduates | האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Hebrew University Convocation: President Peres, EC President Barroso, Nobel Laureate Kahneman Among Honorees and 336 Doctoral Graduates

02/06/2014

June 8 ceremony marks the opening of 77th Hebrew University Board of Governors meeting

Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Law graduates range in age from 26 to 78 years old

336 Hebrew University of Jerusalem students will be awarded Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Law degrees at the Hebrew University's annual Convocation ceremony on June 8. Israeli President Shimon Peres, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, and philanthropist Morton Mandel are among the distinguished figures who will be honored at the event for their contributions to society.

The ceremony, which marks the opening of the 77th annual meeting of the Hebrew University's Board of Governors, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Rothberg Amphitheatre on the Mount Scopus campus.

President of Israel Shimon Peres will receive the 2014 Solomon Bublick Prize in recognition of his longstanding leadership and vision, and for his valuable contribution to the State of Israel. At 90 years of age, the world's elder statesman will conclude his seven years in office after a new president is elected on June 10.

Businessman and philanthropist Morton L. Mandel will receive the 2014 Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education in recognition of his unparalleled contributions to education, as exemplified by the recent establishment of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the Hebrew University.

The 336 doctoral graduates range from 26 to 78 years of age. At 26, Elad Rom will receive his doctorate from the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law, where he previously earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During his studies, Dr. Rom was a research fellow at the University of Toronto and a researcher in the advanced degree program at Yale University. At 78, Israel Katz will receive his doctorate in Bible Studies. Dr. Katz founded and directed the Kiryat Sharet High School in Holon, and is married with three children and five grandchildren. His son, Dr. Ehud Katz, is a researcher at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Nine distinguished figures will be awarded Honorary Doctorates at the Convocation:

  • Gail Asper is President of the Asper Foundation, a driving force behind the Hebrew University’s Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights;
  • José Manuel Durão Barroso is President of the European Commission and former prime minister of Portugal;
  • Patricia L. Glaser is a preeminent business trial attorney in the United States and has been a champion of the Hebrew University for more than three decades;
  • Prof. Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel laureate in economics and a fellow of the Hebrew University’s Center for the Study of Rationality;
  • Yehoshua Kenaz is one of the leading Hebrew authors of our time;
  • Yossi Langotsky is the guiding force behind the discovery of Israel’s off-shore gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea;
  • Prof. Joseph Raz is one of the leading legal, moral and political philosophers of our day;
  • Gerald M. Ronson is a business and philanthropy leader in the United Kingdom and a dedicated supporter of Israel; and
  • Prof. Lothar Willmitzer is founder of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and a longtime supporter of research at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

The 2014 honorary doctorate recipients also include (not attending the ceremony) Prof. Patricia Crone, a scholar, author and historian of early Islamic history at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; and Martin Schulz, former President of the European Parliament, who was awarded an honorary doctorate at a special ceremony on Mount Scopus on February 11.

Biographical extracts of the honorary doctorate recipients are included below. Full bios are available at http://bit.ly/hondocs

Other highlights of the Hebrew University's 77th Board of Governors session include a celebration of Yissum Technology Transfer’s 50th anniversary; a visit to a special plenary session at the Knesset marking 60 years since breaking ground for the campus today known as the Edmond J. Safra Campus; and a gala performance of La Traviata at the foot of Masada. For more information about the Board of Governors meeting, visit http://www.hubog2014.com.

About the Honorary Doctorates (listed in alphabetical order):

Gail Asper, OC OM is the President and a Trustee of the Asper Foundation, which develops and supports major initiatives in the areas of Jewish charity as well as culture, education, community development and human rights. A driving force behind projects in Canada and Israel, she spearheaded the creation of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her outstanding leadership role in Canada’s business and Jewish communities; in appreciation of the Asper Foundation’s numerous contributions to Israeli and Canadian societies through projects such as the Hebrew University’s Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; and in tribute to her devotion to her beloved parents the late Izzy and Babs Asper in perpetuating their commitment to the Hebrew University, where she serves as a Governor, and to its Canadian Friends Association.

José Manuel Durão Barroso is the President of the European Commission and the former prime minister of Portugal. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his warm friendship for Israel and academia, he is a fervent advocate of the creation of academic chairs at universities the world over, including the Jean Monnet Chair at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which was established with the assistance of the European Union. He is active in establishing student exchange programs with countries that are not members of the European Union, among them the State of Israel. José Manuel Durão Barroso shows a profound interest in Israel and maintains ties with those in academic and government circles. Most recently he has called for the vehement condemnation of anti-Semitism, racism and faith-based discrimination.

Patricia L. Glaser is a preeminent business trial attorney in the United States and has been a champion of the Hebrew University for more than three decades. Chair of the litigation department of Glaser Weil, she is widely sought after for high-stakes litigation. She received an Honorary Fellowship in 2008 and serves on the University’s International Board of Governors.  Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her inspiring leadership in promoting the cause of the Hebrew University, and her longstanding, generous support of its students and faculty; in tribute to her devotion and boundless friendship for the University as reflected in the numerous missions she has headed; and in appreciation of her instrumental achievements as both a Governor of the University and a driving force of the American Friends of the Hebrew University and its Los Angeles Region.

Prof. Daniel Kahneman is an emeritus professor at Princeton University and a fellow of the Hebrew University’s Center for the Study of Rationality. Internationally acclaimed for his expertise in behavioral economics and decision-making processes under uncertainty, he received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and authored many works, including the bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his pioneering achievements in elucidating human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002; in admiration of his groundbreaking study of prospect theory, a joint effort with his colleague the late Professor Amos Tversky, which created the foundations for the field of behavioral economics; and in appreciation of his longstanding devotion to the Hebrew University, where he was both student and teacher, and the commitment and generous friendship that he has shown towards its researchers and students.

Yehoshua Kenaz is one of the leading Hebrew authors of our time. He has been publishing novels and short stories since the 1950s, describing the various aspects of Israeli society with piercing realism and human sensitivity. He has translated 15 masterpieces, the majority from French and some from English. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding literary achievements which mark a high point in the corpus of Hebrew narrative fiction; in admiration of the discerning sensitivity in his portrayal of the individual and society and the eloquence of his writing in which the cadence of the reborn Hebrew language resounds in all its vigor, clarity and depth; and in tribute to the broad sweep of his creative efforts, including his timeless translations of classical world literature.

Yossi Langotsky is the guiding spirit behind the discovery of Israel’s off-shore gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea. He served as director general of the National Petroleum Corporation and pioneered Israel’s deep-sea natural gas exploration, culminating in the discovery of the State of Israel’s off-shore gas reserves. In 1999 he established a petroleum and natural gas exploration project off Israel’s Mediterranean shore, and since then has established joint projects and ventures between Israeli and international corporations seeking petroleum and gas in the Mediterranean. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his longtime, resolute pursuit of energy resources and the resulting discovery of Israel’s off-shore gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea; in tribute to his endeavors to transform Israel’s energy infrastructure and, thereby, bolster its economic and social stability; and in appreciation of his unique contribution to Israel’s social and security needs and of the close ties that he maintains with his alma mater, the Hebrew University.

Prof. Joseph Raz is one of the leading philosophers of our day in the areas of legal, moral and political philosophy. Previously a lecturer in the Faculty of Law and the Department of Philosophy at the Hebrew University, today he is a professor at Oxford University, Kings College and Columbia University. Prof. Raz's contributions to the analysis of norms, law, authority, and individual autonomy have made a tremendous impact on the study of law and its teaching throughout the world. Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his groundbreaking work in moral philosophy, political philosophy, and legal philosophy and its resounding impact on these research fields; in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the study of jurisprudence in Israel; and in tribute to his unwavering devotion to the Hebrew University, where he has been both student and teacher, and with whose researchers and students he maintains the warmest of ties.

Gerald M. Ronson, CBE is a business and philanthropy leader in the United Kingdom. At age 17 he founded the Heron Group, now called Heron International Plc, one of Britain’s largest property development companies. He is widely recognized for his exceptional philanthropic work, culminating in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2012 New Year’s Honours List with a CBE for “services to philanthropy and charitable services.” Awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his role as a distinguished leader of Britain’s business and Jewish communities and his outstanding philanthropy; in appreciation of the time and energy that he actively devotes to numerous causes, in particular the welfare, security and education of the Jewish community in Britain, as well as education and poverty alleviation in Israel; and in tribute to his profound friendship for Israel and the Jewish people and his commitment to the values of hard work, charity and good deeds.

Prof. Lothar Willmitzer is founder of the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, which under his leadership has become a world leader in plant sciences. He has made an unparalleled contribution to shaping the direction and agenda of the Minerva-Otto Warburg Biotechnology Center at the Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, serving as a member and then Chairman of its Scientific Council. Awarded an honorary doctorate in acknowledgment of his pioneering contributions to plant metabolomics, ranging from the elucidation of the networks underlying plant metabolism and the development of an integrated physiological approach for plant research to the creation of innovative phenotyping and profiling technologies; and in profound appreciation of his warm  friendship and longtime support for the Otto Warburg Minerva Center for Agricultural Biotechnology at the University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Hebrew University Convocation: President Peres, EC President Barroso, Nobel Laureate Kahneman Among Honorees and 336 Doctoral Graduates