Autumn 2003


Willi Aptowitzer, Varda Lané - Award of Merit

Mr. Willi Z. Aptowitzer, a long-time, sincere friend of the University, which bears a promenade in the name of his late wife Manzi, and Ms. Varda Lané, who spent a 33-year career at the University, most of it devoted to improving working conditions for the administrative staff, were the 2003 winners of the University Award of Merit.

        Aptowitzer earned the award in recognition of “his devoted activity of longstanding service to the community and assistance to social organizations and cultural and art institutions; in appreciation and gratitude for his involvement and commitment as a member of the University’s Board of Governors and as chairman of the Control Committee; and for his continuing contribution to the University of Haifa.” 

In thanking the University, the octogenarian awardee described himself as “elevated when this was announced.”  Since he had no children of his own, he said, he went looking for them.  This takes the form of presenting scholarships, which he does each year in person.  That is the reason he pronounces the University to be “more dear to me than I to it.”

Varda Lané officially retired five years ago, though no one could believe it, as her presence is still felt and seen.  She now serves as head of the association of retired University of Haifa employees.  Lané’s receiving the award had occasioned the University to invite all of the institution’s retired administrative employees to the award ceremony and luncheon.  As Vice-President for Development Yael Metser duly informed the Governors, the administrative staff “had done the utmost to build the University, and we should thank them.”  Overwhelmed, Lané exclaimed, “Wow, so many friends who came.  I’m ready to cry.”  Her tenet as Workers Committee Chair was that “a happy employee is an asset to the University.”


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