Elie Wiesel to Speak At UVM April 25, Receive Honorary Degree
Release Date: 04-24-2007
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who recounted his experiences in the award-winning memoir Night, will speak at the University of Vermont on Wednesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. in Patrick Gymnasium.
Wiesel will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the university during a special ceremony accompanying the speech. President Daniel Mark Fogel will confer the degree.
“By keeping attention focused on one of the worst chapters in human history, Dr. Wiesel has made a profound contribution to humanity’s future,” said Fogel. “We are all deeply indebted to him, are honored that he is speaking at UVM, and are proud to be able to recognize his signature contribution with an honorary degree.”
Tickets to the event are sold out, but overflow seating is still available exclusively to UVM faculty, students, and staff through the end of the day on Wednesday, April 11. Beginning on Thursday, any remaining tickets for overflow seating will be available to the community at large, as well as to faculty, students, and staff.
Overflow seating is located in the Patrick Gym's multi-purpose room.
Tickets for overflow seating should be picked up at the Patrick Gym ticket office, open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Faculty, students, and staff must show their UVM identification; two tickets will be available per person. Tickets are free.
Parking is available at the Patrick Gym parking garage, with overflow parking available in the commuter lot behind the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. UVM buses will provide transportation to the gym.
Wiesel, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, is the author of more than 50 books and plays. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his writing and for his defense of human rights worldwide. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, he has received many honors including the United States Congressional Gold Medal (1985); the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992); the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor (2001); and an honorary Knighthood of the British Empire (2006). In 1986, he and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Wiesel’s visit was conceived by UVM senior Meredith Burak. Inspired by a course on the Holocaust taught by religion professor Richard Sugarman, Burak became a campus student leader on genocide issues. She started a UVM chapter of the national group Students Take Action Now: Darfur (STAND) and has traveled to Switzerland and East Africa as a member of that organization to learn more about the genocide happening in Sudan. With the help of UVM Hillel, Burak organized Wiesel’s April visit as the culminating event of the group’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Week.
A number of other events will occur in April in memory of the Holocaust, including the annual Field of Flags on the UVM Green, a visual reminder of the number of victims the Holocaust claimed. The flags will be on display from April 14-26, and will include 1,000 white flags representing the 4.6 million Sudanese people lost to the ongoing war and genocide.
Additionally, STAND will host documentary photojournalist Ryan Spencer Reed's “Cost of Silence,” a photo exhibition documenting the plight of the Sudanese. The exhibit, which was organized by UVM senior Alex Bambery, will be on display at the Allen House during the entire month of April. For information about other Holocaust Remembrance Week events, contact Susan Leff, director of UVM Hillel, 656-1145 or visit www.uvmhillel.org. For information about STAND events, contact Meredith Burak, 578-2769.
In addition to STAND and Hillel, Wiesel’s visit is sponsored by the President’s Office, the SGA Diversity Fund, the Department of Student Life, Holocaust Studies, Students for Peace and Global Justice, the UVM Class of ’41, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation and Heritage Flights among other departments and organizations.