Israel’s 74th Independence Day is an opportunity to look back through the years since the 1924 founding of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and to look forward to a diverse future in research, teaching, and the Technion’s place in the development of Israel.
Nearly 100 years have passed since the Technion opened its doors to seventeen students in the historic Technion building in Hadar HaCarmel (today’s “Madatech” – the National Science Museum). The establishment of the Technion a quarter of a century before the State of Israel secured the country’s future and at the same time, cast the Technion’s DNA, and created an inseparable bond between the State and the University. I do not know of any other university in Israel or the world whose scope of influence compares to that which the Technion has on Israeli society, its economy, and its security. As we approach our centennial, we remain committed to this mission.
Looking back on the achievements of the State and our own accomplishments we should all have a sense of great pride. None of it would have been possible without the talent and commitment of generations of students and academic and administrative staff. None of it would have also been realized without the continued support of our dedicated friends around the world – the Technion’s family.
The Technion’s accomplishments have culminated this year in a remarkable record – three laureates of the Israel Prize – the most prestigious recognition bestowed by the State of Israel upon the few who have had an outstanding impact on Israel’s culture, society, and science. Beyond their groundbreaking scientific achievements and pioneering discoveries, Professor emeritus Yoram Palti and Professor emeritus Moussa Youdim, both from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, and Professor emeritus Joshua Zak from the Faculty of Physics, have contributed to humanity in translating basic science into applications that affect the lives of so many. We are all proud in their achievements.
I wish you all a happy, meaningful Independence Day.
Professor Uri Sivan
President of the Technion