Nobel Peace Prize winner, Holocaust survivor, and Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel will speak at the second Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series in April at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center on the Kent Campus.
Tickets for the event, which will be held April 11 at 7 p.m., go on sale beginning Friday at www.kent.edu/ElieWiesel. Tickets are $50 for preferred seating, $20 for general admission, $15 for group tickets of 10 or more, and $10 for Kent State faculty and staff (one ticket at $10, then additional tickets at the general admission price). There are 1,500 free tickets available to Kent State students (one ticket per student) on a first-come basis. After the first 1,500 free tickets are gone, Kent State students pay $10 for one ticket and the general admission price for additional tickets. A $1 processing and handling fee will be added to the price of each ticket, excluding the 1,500 free Kent State student tickets. Tickets will be available through an online ticket system at www.kent.edu/ElieWiesel. For group tickets only, call 330-672-2235.
Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Romania. He was 15 when he and his family were deported 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 wrote his memoir "Night." Since its publication in 1956, "Night" has been translated into more than 30 languages.
In 2006, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published a new English-language edition of "Night" featuring a new translation by Marion Wiesel. Oprah Winfrey chose the book for her book club.
Wiesel's personal experience of the Holocaust led him to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to advocate for human rights and peace in the world. He has worked on behalf of oppressed people much of his adult life.
An ardent supporter of Israel, Wiesel also was among the first to defend the causes of Soviet Jews, Nicaragua's Miskito Indians, Argentina's "Disappeared," Cambodia's refugees, the Kurds, South African apartheid victims, famine victims in Africa, the prisoners in the former Yugoslavia, and most recently the victims of genocide in Darfur. Soon after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Wiesel and his wife, Marion, established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Its mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.
Wiesel's work has earned him the United States Congressional Gold Medal (1985); the Medal of Liberty Award (1986); the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992); the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor (2001); an honorary Knighthood of the British Empire awarded by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (2006) and the 2009 National Humanities Medal. He is the recipient of more than 130 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning in the United States, Europe and Israel. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, he became founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Wiesel has served as distinguished professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York (1972-1976) and the Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thought at Yale University (1982-1983). Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, where he also holds the title of University Professor and is 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.
Wiesel has been an American citizen since 1963.
The Kent State Presidential Speaker Series seeks to bring high-profile, world-renowned experts to Kent State for serious, thought-provoking discussions and conversations. The new program enhances the engagement of the world beyond Kent State's campuses, which is one of the university's strategic goals.