|Nobel laureate Wiesel to address Centres opening convocation
RELEASED: Aug. 25, 2005
DANVILLE, KYElie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, will address Centre Colleges opening convocation on Sunday, Sept. 4. He will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Wiesel, a Professor at Boston University, is the author of more than 40 books, the most famous of which is Night, a novel that draws on his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps.
Centre College is honored to welcome Elie Wiesel to our campus, says John Ward, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. No one alive has done more to teach the world about the Holocaust or to help us address the underlying conditions that lead to such atrocity. Elie Wiesel's lecture perfectly complements and concludes the Colleges Norton Center exhibit of Voices of Darkness, on display since last November.
The exhibit, which was curated by Norton Center Managing Director George Foreman in conjunction with Stephen Goldman, director of the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, focused on the profound effect the Holocaust had on arts and culture.
Wiesel has firsthand experience of the horrors of the concentration camps. Born in 1928 in what is now part of Romania, he was 15 years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz, where his mother and younger sister perished. Wiesel and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945.
In 1978, President Carter appointed Wiesel chairman of the Presidents Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, he became the founding chair of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures and the chairman of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization he and his wife created to fight indifference, intolerance and injustice.
Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, where he also holds the title of University Professor. He is a member of the faculty in the religion and philosophy departments.
In addition to Night, which has been translated into more than 30 languages, Wiesels books include A Beggar in Jerusalem (winner of the Prix Médicis), The Testament (winner of the Prix Livre Inter) and The Fifth Son (winner of the Grand Prize in Literature from the City of Paris). His most recent novel, The Time of the Uprooted, has just been published.
Wiesel has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, and the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor. In 1986, Wiesel won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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