The University of Haifa will confer an honorary doctorate on Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow in recognition of his global leadership in higher education, redefining the critical role universities play in developing and sustaining communities, and his advocacy for the importance of diversity within education.
In a virtual event on March 15, President Bacow will formally receive the honor and deliver an address centered on the importance of academia and the evolving landscape of higher education in the COVID-19 era. The Harvard president will also discuss the subject of advancing social mobility both on and off campus.
The University of Haifa is collaborating with Harvard University in a number of areas, including marine sciences, archaeology and environmental studies. Currently, the universities are conducting a joint project on the etiology of large sea mammals, which is considered the world’s most ambitious research initiative on that topic.
President Bacow earned his S.B. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his J.D., M.P.P. and Ph.D. from Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. After serving as a faculty member at MIT for 24 years and its chancellor for four years, he was selected President of Tufts University, where he served for 10 years. In 2010, President Bacow was appointed by former U.S. President Barack Obama to the Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In 2018, seven years after he became a Harvard board member, he was named the 29th president of Harvard.
“Throughout his career, President Bacow has advocated for the enduring values of colleges as enablers of the American dream,” said University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin. “It is a great privilege to confer upon him an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Haifa.”
The honor for President Bacow comes as both Harvard and the University of Haifa prioritize the issue of social mobility. Just as Harvard’s presence has historically generated socioeconomic progress in its surrounding neighborhoods of Cambridge and Allston, the University of Haifa’s primary mission in recent years has centered on a “multiversity” concept: a strategic mechanism for driving progress in the city of Haifa and throughout northern Israel, a region that experiences higher rates of poverty and unemployment than the country’s national averages. The University of Haifa’s multi-campus model facilitates interplay among industries, communities, and the school itself. At the heart of the university’s mission to support the communities of Haifa and northern Israel is the institution’s establishment of the new Lorry I. Lokey City Campus in downtown Haifa.