2018 Board of Governors Meeting Celebrates Israel’s 70th

June 15, 2018
Jennifer Frey

This year’s Technion Board of Governors (BOG) meeting in Haifa opened with some big news. Very big, in fact! Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie announced the launch of the Technion Global Campaign— $1.8 billion, multi-year fundraising campaign that is the largest ever by an Israeli university.

Technion Board of Governors Chairman Larry Jackier addresses the crowd at the Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony, during the 2018 Technion Board of Governors meeting.

“This campaign is truly global in nature,” said President Lavie. “Not only does it involve our societies around the world … but it will result in global benefits, such as better quality in soil, water, and air, easy-to-use sources for clean and renewable energy, engineering aid to developing countries, advancing breakthroughs in fighting cancer, and much, much more.” Aimed at preparing scientists for the challenges of the digital revolution, the unprecedented fundraising initiative hopes to ensure Israel and the Technion’s innovative edge for decades to come.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the theme of this year’s BOG meeting is Technion: Over 70 Years of Innovating Israel.

“As the first university in the country, the Technion has played a major role in the history of modern Israel,” said Larry Jackier, Chairman of the Board of Governors. “Throughout these seven decades, the Technion has driven innovation and the growth of the high-tech industry in Israel. The annual meeting offers a special opportunity for members and guests to experience the Technion, its community, campus and achievements.”

The four-day event (June 9-13, 2018) kept its 155 participants busy from morning till night. President Lavie and his wife, Dr. Lena Lavie, hosted an elegant opening reception at the Dan Carmel Hotel. Committee meetings were open to all, allowing even non-BOG members to help play a role in shaping the university’s future. Panel discussions drew prominent guest speakers. A talk on “Ethics in Science,” for instance, was moderated by Professor Karl Skorecki and featured Nobel Laureate and Technion Distinguished Prof. Aaron Ciechanover with British philosopher and politician Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

On a lighter note, students displayed their innovative projects and product prototypes at a Science Fair; while new faculty took BOG participants on tours of their research labs. Those interested in space attended the inauguration of the ground station for the Adelis-SAMSON Satellite Mission, which hopes to prove that a swarm of nano-satellites can orbit in controlled formation for a period of one year. The ground station will monitor the satellites’ activities and receive transmitted data.

Other inaugurations and dedication ceremonies included:

  • The David and Janet Polak Visitors Center­—A gift from the Los Angeles family made possible a major upgrade to better serve the Technion’s growing number of visitors.
  • The dedication of the Baltimore Auditorium Renovation in the William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management
  • The dedication of the Dr. Martin and Grace Rosman Floor in the Undergraduate Student Village in honor of their six grandchildren

Other highlights included the ceremonies in which our fellow ATS supporters were recognized for their extraordinary commitment to Israel and the Technion.

Dr. Robert J. Shillman (“Doctor Bob”) was awarded a Technion Honorary Doctorate for the “vision and creativity that marks (his) support; and in recognition of (his) decades-long commitment to the betterment of the Technion, Israel and the world at large.” Dr. Shillman established the Robert J. Shillman Fund for Image Processing Research, a floor in one of the student dorms and the Dr. Bob and Mao Shillman Plaza of the Lidow Physics complex. He also supports the annual Doctor Bob’s TechnoBrain Competition, which challenges students to solve such creative engineering feats as building a device to safely carry a glass of wine across a swimming pool.

Dr. Martin and Grace Rosman were awarded a Technion Honorary Fellowships for “(their) support, which has helped the Technion to attract and retain the best and brightest faculty and students; and with admiration for (their) deep understanding of the Technion’s vital role in the future of Israel and the World.” The Rosmans established the Rosman ATIDIM program, which seeks to level the playing field for Israel’s haves and have-nots by giving promising young students from Israel’s poorest neighborhoods the chance to get a Technion education. They also dedicated a floor in the Undergraduate Student Village in honor of their six grandchildren.

Les Seskin, the immediate past president of the American Technion Society for the South Palm Beach area was awarded a Technion Honorary Fellowship “in admiration for (his) inspiring achievements in (his) career, in (his) community and in (his) philanthropy; with gratitude for (his) exemplary support of the Technion and (his) commitment to Israel’s welfare.” His commitment has focused largely on students, generously funding graduate student housing, counseling programs and funds for reservists who have lost academic time while serving in the Israel Defense Forces. He also established the Les & Eileen Seskin Virtual Reality and Controlled Construction Laboratory.

For more than a century, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has pioneered in science and technology education and delivered world-changing impact. Proudly a global university, the Technion has long leveraged boundary-crossing collaborations to advance breakthrough research and technologies. Now with a presence on three continents, the Technion will prepare the next generation of global innovators. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world, innovating in fields from cancer research and sustainable energy to quantum computing and computer science to do good around the world.

The American Technion Society supports visionary education and world-changing impact through the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Based in New York City, we represent thousands of US donors, alumni and stakeholders who invest in the Technion’s growth and innovation to advance critical research and technologies that serve the State of Israel and the global good. Over more than 75 years, our nationwide supporter network has funded new Technion scholarships, research, labs and facilities that have helped deliver world-changing contributions and extend Technion education to campuses on three continents.