At an impressive ceremony on May 14, Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Sir Harold Kroto of Florida State University and bioinformatics innovator Prof. Michael S. Waterman of the University of Southern California were among the recipients of Tel Aviv University Honorary Doctorate degrees awarded at this year's TAU Board of Governors meeting. The eight recipients join a community of previous honorees that includes heads of state, world-renowned artists, business innovators and pioneering scholars and scientists.
Their fellow laureates are president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities Prof. Ruth Arnon; renowned Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk; leading Israeli industrialist Bruno Landsberg; Israeli deaf-blind theatre pioneer Adina Tal; Canadian Bar member and former judge Donald W. Seal, QC; and Indian business and industry leader Tarun Das.
An Honorary Fellowship was posthumously conferred on former Tel Aviv University governor Ron Krongold of Australia. Miriam Milberg Smolarz of Argentina received this year's President's Award.
TAU President Prof. Joseph Klafter, TAU Board of Governors Chairman Harvey Krueger, and TAU Rector Prof. Aron Shai addressed the recipients and distinguished guests. Musical interludes were provided by students of TAU's internationally recognized Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, and Itsik Hanuna of the deaf-blind theater ensemble Nalaga'at offered a poignantly moving performance dedicated to the recipients.
Celebrating limitless human potential
Prof. Klafter spoke of the inestimable importance of optimizing human potentiality. He said it was the university's task to "mine intellectual potential and celebrate and reward realized potential," reflecting the time-honored tradition of excellence at TAU.
Among past TAU Honorary Doctorate recipients are world leaders David Ben Gurion, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin; artists Leonard Bernstein, Marc Chagall, Eugene Ionesco, Henry Moore, Santiago Calatrava and Franco Zeffirelli; business leaders Armand Hammer, Laurence Tisch, Sheldon Adelson, Martin Whitman and Michael Steinhardt; and scholars Bernard Lewis, Eric Lander, Edward Teller and Elie Wiesel.
Speaking for the recipients, Tarun Das spoke about his love affair with Israel, commending Israelis for their courage and leadership and especially Tel Aviv University for creating the powerful India-Israel Forum. "Whoever you are and wherever you are, you can make things better. We must give opportunities to the young. The future belongs to them," Das concluded.
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