Miriam Adelson receives honorary degree
Miriam Adelson receives honorary degreeNimrod Glikman

A new building housing the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine was dedicated at Ariel University in Samaria, Tuesday.

The modern building, which includes study areas and research labs, is also set to include a regional medical center with four operating rooms, a gastrointestinal imaging institute, and university clinics for paramedical professions, among others.

Also on Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin and Dr. Miriam Adelson were awarded honorary doctorates at a graduation ceremony at the school during which 40 students received their doctoral degrees.

Rivlin opened his remarks by saying, "The academia is a lighthouse of excellence, wisdom, and knowledge in society. Within just a few years, Ariel University has succeeded in proving it is in the big leagues and a magnet for Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, male and female students. Israel's youngest university is also 100% an Israeli university: Zionist, innovative, a research leader, and mainly open to all tribes and sectors in the State of Israel."

During the ceremony, Adelson said, "The school of medicine is really a home, in the sense of a place where people learn the most important life lessons. In this home, you will become doctors – perhaps the noblest profession. Doctors bring new life into the world, save lives, and improve lives – this is the work of angels."

Adelson's husband, renowned philanthropist and businessman Sheldon Adelson, passed away in January.

"The fact that the building bears his name alongside mine is particularly special to me. Sheldon was my home, and I was his home," she said. "One of my most precious memories is the memory of both of us planning this building together. This school is no less dear to Sheldon's heart than it is to me. That is also true of Ariel University, Samaria, and the entire Land of Israel."

In her speech, Adelson recalled when she worked as an internal medicine physician and chief physician at an emergency room.

"Resuscitations, a majority of them successful, were a matter of routine. Only the doctor, the patient, and God are enclosed behind the curtain, with mere seconds in which to decide whether and how to do something that in the eyes of many is like a miracle and impossible. Every additional moment on earth is a blessing."

In honoring Adelson, the university said it aimed to recognize her "outstanding Zionist and humanitarian contributions for promoting medicine, education and higher education in Israel and around the world; for her many years of devotion as a physician and researcher, and her dedication to developing new methods for treating addiction and withdrawal; and for her tireless efforts in strengthening the bonds between Israel and Jews of the Diaspora."

Adelson was also honored "for her courageous and generous partnership with Ariel University in establishing a medical school for the benefit of the entire region and for her steadfast support of medical students and cultivating a new generation of world-class physicians."

The university said it sought to recognize Rivlin's "lifelong work to strengthen the State of Israel, to foster bonds between secular, religious, ultra-orthodox Jewish and Arab communities, his long-standing leadership in cultivating the affinity between Judaism and Zionism, his dedication to ensuring the fortitude and prosperity of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, his sincere friendship and widespread efforts for the development and advancement of Ariel University."