Holocaust Survivor, Human Rights Activist Elie Wiesel to Deliver Commencement Address at Washington University

Elie Wiesel will receive an honorary degree during his address to graduating students this summer.

Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, Elie Wiesel will give the 2011 Commencement address at Washington University, according to Chancellor Mark Wrighton.

The title of his talk is “Knowledge and Ethics.”

During the ceremony, Wiesel will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Wash U, according to a university press release.

“I am deeply honored that Elie Wiesel has agreed to deliver the Commencement address to this year’s graduates,” Wrighton said. “Professor Wiesel is a remarkable scholar who has dedicated his life to promoting peace." Wiesel was awarded the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.

The university’s 150th Commencement will begin at 8:30 a.m. May 20 in Brookings Quadrangle on the Danforth Campus.

Natalia Motola April 06, 2011 at 01:41 PM
I think this is a much better choice than Bristol Palin.
Diana W. April 06, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Washington University does have a reputation for denying conservatives a voice. David Horowitz also had his event cancelled. Is the Patch now going to make judgements against conservatives? This is becoming a real pattern in a city that prides itself on diversity. Evidently U. City welcomes communists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtcSaCZmCLE&feature=email -- yet conservatives are harassed at polling places and called all sorts of names such as racist when there is little or no evidence of it. Please keep your website bias free, if you have comments like this coming from Patch personnel, make an attempt to find a conservative viewpoint also.
Paul Gill April 06, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Here's my conservative view....Show me where exactly is Natalia expressing a liberal viewpoint? Was it by mentioning the name "Palin", and not following it by a sentence of blilnd love and devotion? Was Bristol Palin even actually considered? I would be interested to see what in the world Bristol Palin could offer as words of wisdom to such accomplished minds as the graduates of Wash U? Nothing against Bristol Palin, but why exactly is she famous? She has a well known mother, and she was a pregnant teenager. Hardly a lifetime achievement resume.
Myra Lopez April 06, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Diana W. Natalia is a contributor to U City Patch. She writes our mommy q and a section. Patch actually wants us to be open about our beliefs, religious and political and clearly Natalia is comfortable making that statement. I having come from The Associated Press do not feel it's relevant to share my political, religious leanings, as they should have no impact on my coverage. While, Natalia may not be conservative (and I don't know her political leanings) I welcome your involvement. I'd love to add a "conservative viewpoint." U City Patch gives people in the community an opportunity to voice opinions under a community forum section. Feel free to submit something to me at myra.lopez@patch.com P.S. If you look under the Q and A section you'll see that last week someone accused me of directing people to the Tea Party.
Tony April 06, 2011 at 09:04 PM
I would hardly say that Wash U has a reputation for "denying conservatives a voice." They granted Phyllis Schlafly an honorary degree and John Danforth's name is all over the campus, just to name a few examples...Not that it owes any of us an effort to remain politically neutral. Its a private university that continues to bring some of the world's most respected intellectuals to our community. Elie Wiesel is a Nobel Laureate who's body of work can stand with just about any other living humanitarian. That's what the article is about. I'm not sure what Bristol Palin, communists, liberals, conservatives, etc. have to do with any of this. The best way to keep a perceived bias out of this site is to keep political discussion to articles on politics and to play the victim card someplace else.
Diana W. April 06, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Ms. Palin was considered, but David Horowitz has a much better record of achievement; both were denied speaking engagements. Your post shows favor to one against another, by saying "better choice" you automatically show bias which is not a good idea for a community involved website that encourages everyone to become engaged. I believe Myra L. does a great job remaining neutral, and this is not easy. If you just share the facts in your articles and your employees do the same, unless it is marked as "our view" or "opinion" such as in the Post Dispatch, I believe you will become a more credible source of news and information. I never stated Natalia expressed a liberal viewpoint, she expressed a biased one by favoring one speaker over the other without explaining why. If you write articles and you are a part of an editorial team, explaining your viewpoint should come naturally. I understand if Natalia wants to be a part of the posts and stir up more comments, but her attempt was unprofessional and I feel that the Patch deserves better. She can easily write an opinion piece and invite comments that way; instead of turning Myra's factual article into something that reflects on the Patch as a whole and bends Myra's opinion into her own. Or just leave the opinions to those who post.
Diana W. April 06, 2011 at 11:32 PM
I have no problem with those who post and I believe this is a great avenue for political opinions, we are very fortunate to have this. What I don't agree with is an article contributor swaying the opinions with the Patch attached to her post; this asks for further explanation, which I'm sure Natalia is capable of providing. When you post an open ended statement you invite all kinds of responses; I am a politically minded individual so I will usually take the discussion in that direction, and Natalia mentioned Ms. Palin because she was invited to speak at Wash U. I see your point, but it would be too difficult to keep the discussion on track without a grand scale effort in coercion, and mentioning Bristol Palin is not the way to keep it on point.
Natalia Motola April 07, 2011 at 12:08 AM
My comment on Myra's article was as a reader, and not posted in a professional capacity. That is the point of the comment box, so that readers have the opportunity to voice their opinions, liberal or conservative. My comment was neither. I have no personal stake in the article. However, I stand by my opinion, Mr. Wiesel is a better choice. As Tony mentioned, Mr. Wiesel is a Nobel Laureate and humanitarian. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1986 for speaking out against violence, repression, and racism and has continued that mission. Wiesel spoke before the UN Council to illuminate the violence in Darfur. He has also brought attention to other humanitarian injustices like, apartheid in South Africa and genocide in Bosnia, among others. Mr. Wiesel started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and has spoken on behalf of many suffering oppression. As a Jew and holocaust survivor, he has become a popular speaker on the topic, as well as the current injustices of Jews around the world. Mr. Wiesel was a leading force in the building of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and served as chairman for the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust. His academic, humanitarian and honorary medals and awards are too many to list here, but include Yale, Boston Univ. and Barnard College. I believe Ms. Palin's resume pales compared to that of Mr.Wiesel, and that is why I believe he is the better choice. Regardless of politics.
Diana W. April 07, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Thanks, I feel a lot better about how the Patch operates and I apologize for my rant against U. City, at least we have a bright spot on this website! I have been politically active for quite a few years here in U. City and was dealt a day full of concern yesterday around how elections are conducted in University Township. My disappointment carried over into my response. I appreciate your invitation and respect your conduct on this site, it is very professional. I am certain I will submit something to you and I have learned a lot about U. City just reading the posts--Thanks! Sometimes we read too much into written communication because we can't see the facial expressions and hear the tone in someone's voice and this leads to assumptions that aren't true, it seems like that happens a lot on website conversations!
Tony April 07, 2011 at 03:27 PM
The choice wasn't between Palin or Wiesel though. The Palin deal was few months ago and involved a sex-ed speaking engagement on campus. There's no way she was considered for the commencement...I understand contributors are readers and have opinions too but I think its naive to think that readers aren't going to get upset when contibutors post comments like those. I can see how it reads like a bad, misinformed joke.
Elliot Wilson April 10, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Could you provide a source for your assertion that Wash U cancelled a David Horowitz event? An article on CampusReform.Org (http://www.campusreform.org/articles/st-louis-u-cancels-speech-by-activist-david-horowitz) states that SLU that cancelled a David Horowitz appearance, not Wash U, and that David Horowitz gave a lecture in Wash U's Assembly Series in 2005. Favoring Elie Wiesel to Bristol Palin in a comment doesn't exactly prove liberal bias. In the Palin controversy, students objected to the university paying a rumored $20,000 for a speech on sexual responsibility -- a high fee for a speaker who, despite her publicized pregnancy, lacks the expertise and qualifications of other speakers invited for the event. Perhaps Natalia confused her facts, thinking that Palin was considered for the commencement, but her comment isn't outrageous, if perhaps a little misguided. I may also mention that, while you did not explicitly say that Natalia expressed a liberal viewpoint, your statement "if you have comments like this coming from Patch personnel, make an attempt to find a conservative viewpoint" clearly implies such. Additionally, your statement above about stating facts in articles and labeling opinions seems a bit out of place. The article itself is purely factual. And there was no need for Natalia to mark her comment as her opinion, because that was implicit in her post -- even if it was marked to show that she is a Patch contributor.


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