WORCESTER, Mass., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres, former Israeli prime minister, will receive an honorary degree -- a day before meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton -- as part of Clark University's fall commencement at Clark's branch program in Israel. Clark commencement ceremonies will begin in Tel Aviv on Nov. 19, and Peres will be the keynote speaker. Peres' honorary degree recognizes his vision of peace through global and cross-cultural understanding -- a vision shared by Clark's Israel Program, according to Thomas Massey, dean of Clark's College of Professional and Continuing Education Program. The Israel Program is a collaboration between Israel College in Tel Aviv and Clark University's College of Professional and Continuing Education. As part of the program, Israeli professionals earn a master of science in professional communication or a master of public administration with a concentration in health, education, finance or local government. Students study through the year at the Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem campuses in Israel, and complete their studies during an intensive six weeks at Clark. The program is in its third year and has graduated more than 500 students. An additional 330 students will graduate during the November ceremonies. "It is amazing how the program has brought the Israeli students from various backgrounds together," says Laura Val, the coordinator of the Israel Program. "The students work with each other harmoniously regardless of differences," Peres, a supporter of the Israel Program, has been a leader in Israel since the age of 20, when he was elected secretary of the Labor Party youth movement in 1943. Peres played a key role in negotiations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and in withdrawing Israeli forces from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In 1994, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in advancing peace in the Middle East with the late Yitzhak Rabin and with PLO Chairman Yassar Arafat. Following the assassination of Rabin on Nov. 5, 1995, Peres became acting prime minister, and on Nov. 22, 1995, he was sworn in as prime minister and minister of defense. He lost the election for prime minister to Benjamin Netanyahu. Peres is presently the chairman of Israel's Labor Party. The Israel Program was recently approved by Israel's Ministry of Education.
SOURCE Clark University