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Hebrew U confers honorary doctorate degree on John Paulson 

Philanthropist gave $27 million in 2023 to establish the Hebrew University Paulson Bar-El Building for Computer Science and Engineering.

Hebrew University Rector Tamir Sheafer (left) presents an honorary doctoral degree to philanthropist and investor John Paulson (center) with president, professor Asher Cohen at the 87th Board of Governors Meeting in Jerusalem.
Hebrew University Rector Tamir Sheafer (left) presents an honorary doctoral degree to philanthropist and investor John Paulson (center) with president, professor Asher Cohen at the 87th Board of Governors Meeting in Jerusalem.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem presented philanthropist, businessman and investor John Paulson with a prestigious honorary doctorate degree during the 87th Board of Governors meeting on June 3 in Jerusalem. 

Paulson is president of Paulson Capital, a private investment company based in Palm Beach, Fla., with subsidiaries in New York and Dublin. The fund has received numerous awards and accolades over its 30-year history including the Absolute Return’s awards for Management Firm of the Year, Best Arbitrage Fund, and Best Event Driven Fund, in addition to eight other Absolute Return awards.

As founder and chair of the Paulson Family Foundation, he has primarily supported educational institutions. Paulson endowed the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University in 2015 and dedicated New York University’s recent academic building—the John A. Paulson Center—in 2022. The Paulson Family Foundation also promotes healthcare, the arts and public parks, with gifts that include a 2012 grant to the Central Park Conservancy, believed to be the largest ever donation to a public park in United States history.

In recent years, Paulson has focused his philanthropy on organizations in Israel, with major contributions to the Jerusalem Campus for the Arts and a landmark 2021 gift to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in celebration of the museum’s 90th anniversary.

He has fostered close ties with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, committing $27 million in 2023 to establish the Paulson Bar-El Building for Computer Science and Engineering, which will house an expansion of the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering. He also enjoys familial ties to the Hebrew University, as his sister, Theodora Bar-El, studied and worked at Hebrew University’s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences.

Conferring the degree of Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa, the president of the Hebrew University, professor Asher Cohen, said it is “in recognition of his exemplary career as a businessman and investor, and the founding of Paulson and Co.; for his unwavering dedication to philanthropy, and support of education and the arts through the Paulson Family Foundation, including in Israel; with immense gratitude for his ongoing warm relationship with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and for his commitment to establishing the Paulson Bar-El Building that will serve Hebrew University students of computer science and engineering, which will stand as a testament to his dedication and vision.”

“I believe that for society there is no more important mission than education and academic excellence, which develops future leaders, uncovers new knowledge, and enables great advances for humankind,” Paulson said. “At 99 years, Hebrew University has been, and will continue to be, a crucial part of Israel’s current and future success. We should all be extremely proud to be part of this extraordinary institution.”

Paulson received his Master of Business Administration with high distinction as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Graduate School of Business and graduated as valedictorian of his class with a bachelor’s degree in finance, summa cum laude, from New York University Stern School of Business.

Paulson was inscribed on the Wall of Benefactors in recognition of his philanthropic contributions to the university.

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About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's premier academic and research institution. Serving over 25,000 students from 90 countries, the University produces nearly 40% of Israel’s civilian scientific research and has received over 11,000 patents. Faculty and alumni of Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes, two Turing Awards, and a Fields Medal. For more information about Hebrew University, visit http://new.huji.ac.il/en. 
About American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU): American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) is a national, not-for-profit organization based in the United States. AFHU is headquartered in New York and has seven regional offices working in close partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. AFHU provides supporters, Hebrew University alumni, and the public with stimulating programs and events and organizes missions to Israel. The organization’s activities support scholarly and scientific achievement at Hebrew University, create scholarships, fund new facilities, and assist the University’s efforts to recruit outstanding new faculty. For more information, visit http://www.afhu.org. Follow us on: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter X | Instagram | YouTube 
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