This year, Israel celebrates 70 years of independence. At Technion, independence is a vessel that enables innovation to express itself in the world of real commodities.
Independence is that which allows our scientists, students, and visionaries to think freely to delve into the unknown, unfettered by fears of survival or the terror of failure. This scientific independence is what has made Technion a partner in a new innovation paradigm, in which industry, researchers and visionaries join together with the objective of creating a better future.
The Technion cornerstone ceremony took place 36 years before the establishment of the State of Israel, in 1912. At the time, pioneering visionaries were determined to fight prejudice by creating a technical institute that would accept all qualified students regardless of gender or culture. From its earliest days, Technion played a key role in laying the foundations of a nation – educating the skilled workforce that would literally build the country.
In 2018, Technion continues to be a global trailblazer. We are proud that, according to a recent worldwide survey, Technion has been named the world’s leading academic institution in preparing students to take top positions in the digital revolution.
Moreover, the recent inaugurations of Cornell Tech in New York City and the Guangdong Technion- Israel Institute of Technology in China consolidate Technion’s global impact and empower a new kind of academic independence – an independence beyond the limitation of national boundaries.
On the dawn of Israel’s eighth decade, Technion is as committed as ever to serve the State of Israel and all of humanity. To realize this vision, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Technion World Wide Campaign, with a goal to raise $1.5 billion by 2024 – the year we will celebrate the centennial of Technion’s first incoming class. This campaign is groundbreaking, due to its unprecedented scope in Israeli academia. The funds raised will be used for upgrading infrastructure and research activities, as well as for faculty recruitment, and will essentially ensure the next 100 years of Technion. In the past year, we made great progress implementing the Master Plan to upgrade the physical campus. The building boom is underway with the completion of the David and Janet Polak Visitors Center; the renovation of the Ullmann Building, the new gates to the campus. We will soon start work on new wings for the faculties of Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Architecture and Town Planning. In addition, we are planning an additional building for the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine as well as new student dormitories.
We recently announced a $50 million naming gift from the Helen Diller Family Foundation to support the university’s new state-of-the-art quantum center. The center will be named the Helen Diller Center for Quantum Science, Matter and Engineering and will strengthen the university’s position as a world leader in quantum science and engineering.
Unfortunately, alongside the many uplifting accomplishments of the past year, we have also been struck with a succession of sad news. Technion – and I personally – mourn the loss of three of our dearest friends: Ruth Rappaport, Peter Munk and Sanford Diller. May their memories be a blessing.
Herzl said: “If you will it, it is not a dream.” In recent years, our slogan was “Dream it. Do it.” To do it, we needed that first cornerstone in 1912.To do it, we needed that declaration of independence 70 years ago in 1948. Out of the foundations we lay today, the power of innovation will continue to flow through the laboratories, lecture halls and campuses of all that is Technion.