NOBEL PRIZE WINNER ELIE WIESEL TO BE HAMILTON'S GREAT NAMES SPEAKER THIS SPRING
Wiesel's presentation in the Great Names series follows talks by formerchairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell and politicalstrategists Mary Matalin and James Carville. While on campus, he willparticipate in a class and meet students and faculty for dinner and areception.
A native of Sighet, Transylvania (Romania), Wiesel and his family weredeported by the Nazis to Auschwitz when he was 15. His mother and youngersister died there. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwaldwhere his father died beside him. His personal experience of the Holocaustled him to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defendhuman rights and peace throughout the world.
Wiesel's efforts have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the UnitedStates Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, and the rank ofGrand Officer in the French Legion of Honor. In 1986, he was awarded the NobelPeace Prize. He has received more than 75 honorary degrees from leadinguniversities and colleges.
The author of more than 35 books, Wiesel has won the Prix Medicis, the PrixLivre Inter and the Grand Prize for Literature from the City of Paris. Hisfirst book, La Nuit (Night) has been translated into 25 languages.Other books include A Beggar in Jerusalem, The Testament, TheFifth Son, and Sages and Dreamers.
In his 1995 memoirs, "All Rivers Run to the Sea," Wieselrecounts his experiences at Buchenwald, its liberation by American troops, andhis days as a man without a country. "The refugee's time is measured invisas, his biography in stamps on his documents. Though he has
done nothing illegal, he is sure he is being followed. How well I understoodSocrates, who preferred death to exile."
Wiesel became a U.S. citizen in 1963. President Jimmy Carter appointed himchairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust, and later as foundingchairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He has been thedistinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York,and the first Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thoughtat Yale.
Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities atBoston University where he also holds the title of university professor. Helives in New York with his wife Marion and son Elisha.