German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will receive an honorary doctorate from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in a ceremony set for Oct. 10, 2021, in Jerusalem, Israel.
Chancellor Merkel, who is visiting Israel (after postponing her August 2021 visit), will be awarded for her continuous and steadfast support of the State of Israel; her unwavering fight against antisemitism and racism; her strong support of science and education, and particularly of scientific collaboration between Germany and Israel; and for her exemplary leadership, wisdom, and humanity.
A scientist with a doctoral degree in natural sciences from the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, Merkel published several papers on quantum chemistry prior to embarking on a political career. She’s set to retire from politics this month, having been in office for 16 years.
“Chancellor Merkel’s path has taken her from a brilliant scientific career in quantum chemistry to an unparalleled political legacy at a time of tectonic changes starting with the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the unification of Germany,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan. “Under her leadership, Merkel navigated Europe through a global economic crisis and displayed great humanity to those who were displaced by civil wars and other armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.”
He went on to say that “as a true leader, constantly striving to improve the lives of millions worldwide, Chancellor Merkel never avoided publicly facing the harsh and uncomfortable realities of global and domestic challenges. She has done so while never forgetting the true meaning of compassion and social responsibility.”
Prof. Sivan thanked Chancellor Merkel: “We salute you for what you have given Germany, Israel, and the world. We are forever grateful.”
On Sunday, the Chancellor will receive the honorary doctorate from Prof. Sivan, in the presence of Mr. Gideon Frank, Chairman of the Technion Council; Prof. Oded Rabinovitch, Senior Executive Vice President and a Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Prof. Alon Wolf, Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development and a Professor at the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering; Distinguished Professor Yitzhak Apeloig, former Technion President and Professor at the Schulich Faculty Of Chemistry; former Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, Chairman of Israel Friends of Technion; Nobel Prize Laureate and Technion Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover of the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; Prof. Marcelle Machluf, Dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering; as well as graduate students Ms. Lina Muadlej of the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering (in a joint track with the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science), and Ms. Aseel Shomar, a Ph.D. student at the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering.
An honorary doctorate is the highest honor bestowed by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology upon the few who distinguished themselves through their outstanding scientific work or their leadership and public service to the benefit of Israel, the Jewish people, and humanity at large. Some notable examples include Chaim Weizmann (1952), Albert Einstein (1953), Niels Bohr (1958), David Ben Gurion (1962), Yitzhak Rabin (1990), and Margaret Thatcher (1989) – who are now joined by Chancellor Merkel, arguably the most revered, influential leader of our time.
Born in 1954, Chancellor Merkel started her political career in 1989, following the fall of the Berlin Wall. She chaired the Christian Democratic Union Party from 2000-2018; and has served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since 2005. Throughout her career, Merkel emphasized international cooperation. She has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union. The New York Times dubbed her “The Liberal West’s Last Defender.” Merkel has voiced support for Israel on many occasions and has spoken out against antisemitism. Congratulating the new Israeli government in June 2021, Merkel said that Germany and Israel are “connected by a unique friendship that we want to further strengthen.”