Media Release | Sep. 10, 2012

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel receives UBC honorary degree

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel received today an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia during a special ceremony on the Vancouver campus.

[EDITORS:  Please note that Prof. Wiesel is not available for interviews. For comments, please contact Prof. Sally Thorne, UBC Senate Tributes Committee, at:].

Prof. Wiesel is a renowned author, political activist and professor. His personal experience of the Holocaust led him to use his talents to defend human rights and peace. In 1986, Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of oppressed people throughout the world.

“In his quest for truth and justice, Professor Wiesel inspires the world to a higher moral vision,” said UBC President Stephen Toope. “He bears witness for the defenceless and brings a message of hope.”

The university awards honorary degrees in recognition of individuals who have made substantial contributions to society.

In 1944, Wiesel was 15 when he and his family were deported from their home in Hungary to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished there. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in 1945.

After the war, Wiesel studied in Paris where he eventually worked as a journalist. In the mid 1950s, he ended his silence about the death camps with his book Night, a memoir that has been translated into more than 30 languages with millions of copies sold.

In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. In 1986, Wiesel and his wife Marion established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

In addition to working for human rights in many areas of the world, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, where he is also a faculty member in the departments of religion and philosophy. In 2002, Boston University created the Elie Wiesel Center of Jewish Studies in his honor.

Related topics: , , , ,

Share This


Lorraine Chan
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2644
Cell: 604.209.3048



Prof. Elie Wiesel

Prof. Elie Wiesel

UBC President Stephen Toope (left) and Prof. Elie Wiesel (right)

UBC President Stephen Toope (left) and Prof. Elie Wiesel (right)

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604.822.3131
Fax: 604.822.2684

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia