Hebrew U. tabs Gates for first Einstein Award

The American Friends of Hebrew University will give Bill Gates its first ever Einstein Award.

Gates, the Microsoft founder who recently left his job to work full time at his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will receive the award at a gala dinner in New York in December.

Proceeds from the dinner will help to fund cutting-edge plant and animal science research at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences in Israel.

The award had been in the works for six years, and only Gates was considered as its first recipient, the AFHU’s national executive director, Peter T. Willner, told JTA. The organization, which raises about $60 million per year for Hebrew U., was in discussions with Gates for about a year and a half before he accepted the award.

“We have been talking for a longtime about creating the award and giving the award,” Willner said. “But we recognized that if we gave the award it would be given infrequently because it has to go to an individual that has not only changed the world in terms of what they have done in changing their own industry, but in changing humanity.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided JTA and the Fundermentalist with this quote:

“We are honored that The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American Friends of the Hebrew University have chosen Bill Gates as the recipient of the first-ever Einstein Award. Both Bill and Melinda believe deeply that all lives have equal value and began their foundation to help ensure that inequities are reduced in the United States and throughout the world.”

Hoping to get more tomorrow.

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