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      March 31, 2008

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Nobel Laureate Wiesel Will Deliver Inaugural President’s Lecture at CCNY and Will Receive Honorary Degree
Elie Wiesel, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the Inaugural President’s Lecture at The City College of New York Wednesday, April 9. Prior to the lecture, Dr. Gregory H. Williams, president of City College, will confer upon Professor Wiesel, who taught at CCNY from 1972 to 1976, the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters.
    The degree presentation will take place at 5 p.m. in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall, followed by the lecture, titled Confronting Fanaticism: Building a Moral Unity in a Diverse Society, at 5:30 p.m.
    “Elie Wiesel has spent much of his adult life working on behalf of oppressed people everywhere,” said President Williams. “We honor him for building on his personal experience of living through the Holocaust to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world.”
    Born an Orthodox Jew in a small town in Transylvania, Wiesel was 15 when he and his family were deported to the death camp in Auschwitz, where his mother and two younger sisters perished. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died before the camp was liberated in 1945. After the end of World War II, Wiesel studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and became a journalist. Like many Holocaust survivors, he remained silent about what he had endured until François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature who became Wiesel’s friend, persuaded him to break that silence.
    Night, Wiesel’s 109-page memoir of his experiences during the Holocaust and his loss of faith in God, originally written in French, is considered one of the bedrocks of Holocaust literature, along with Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man and Anne Frank’s Diary.
Wiesel, who subsequently moved to the U.S., has written more than 40 books, both fiction and non-fiction. These include Dawn Day, two novels that, together with Night, comprise a trilogy about the Holocaust.
    From 1972 to 1976, Wiesel was Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at CCNY. In 1976, he became the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University, where he holds the title of University Professor and is a member of the Department of Religion as well as the Department of Philosophy.
    Wiesel received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy to end violence, repression and racism. During his career, he has spoken out on behalf of Israel; Soviet and Ethiopian Jews; victims of Apartheid in South Africa; Argentina’s Desaparecidos; victims of genocide in Bosnia; Nicaragua’s Miskito Indians, and the Kurds. One of his current projects involves finding refuge for children from Darfur.
Elie Wiesel, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the Inaugural President’s Lecture at The City College of New York Wednesday, April 9. Prior to the lecture, Dr. Gregory H. Williams, president of City College, will confer upon Professor Wiesel, who taught at CCNY from 1972 to 1976, the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters.
    The degree presentation will take place at 5 p.m. in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall, followed by the lecture, titled Confronting Fanaticism: Building a Moral Unity in a Diverse Society, at 5:30 p.m.
    “Elie Wiesel has spent much of his adult life working on behalf of oppressed people everywhere,” said President Williams. “We honor him for building on his personal experience of living through the Holocaust to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world.”
    Born an Orthodox Jew in a small town in Transylvania, Wiesel was 15 when he and his family were deported to the death camp in Auschwitz, where his mother and two younger sisters perished. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died before the camp was liberated in 1945. After the end of World War II, Wiesel studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and became a journalist. Like many Holocaust survivors, he remained silent about what he had endured until François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature who became Wiesel’s friend, persuaded him to break that silence.
    Night, Wiesel’s 109-page memoir of his experiences during the Holocaust and his loss of faith in God, originally written in French, is considered one of the bedrocks of Holocaust literature, along with Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man and Anne Frank’s Diary.
Wiesel, who subsequently moved to the U.S., has written more than 40 books, both fiction and non-fiction. These include Dawn Day, two novels that, together with Night, comprise a trilogy about the Holocaust.
    From 1972 to 1976, Wiesel was Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at CCNY. In 1976, he became the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University, where he holds the title of University Professor and is a member of the Department of Religion as well as the Department of Philosophy.
    Wiesel received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy to end violence, repression and racism. During his career, he has spoken out on behalf of Israel; Soviet and Ethiopian Jews; victims of Apartheid in South Africa; Argentina’s Desaparecidos; victims of genocide in Bosnia; Nicaragua’s Miskito Indians, and the Kurds. One of his current projects involves finding refuge for children from Darfur.


books

Buchenwald Slave Laborers, 1945. Wiesel is on the second row from the bottom, seventh from the left.