The global Weizmann Institute family has lost some of its most prominent and creative leaders in recent months.
Prof. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine and world-famous virologist, was the fourth President of Weizmann Institute, serving between 1970 and 1972. Sabin was also a member of the Institute's Board of Governors for a quarter of a century.
In recent years Prof. Sabin showed special interest in solar energy research at the Weizmann Institute and personally contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars for such research. As he put it: "The earliest possible development of a suitable technology for replacing the exhaustible, polluting fossil fuels by inexhaustible, clean solar energy is of the greatest importance for the whole world, and I would like the Weizmann Institute to continue to be in the lead in this effort."
Distinguished Institute Professor Chaim L. Pekeris, one of the world's authorities on applied mathematics and geophysics, founded the Institute's Applied Mathematics Department, which he headed until 1973. Concurrently, he organized and managed Israel's first geophysical survey; built the WEIZAC, Israel's first computer and among the most advanced in the world at the time; and established the country's Institute for Petroleum Research and Geophysics.
Prof. Pekeris's research achievements included studies in convection within the earth, propagation of sound in layered media, and the computation of tides on a global scale. Among the many honors bestowed upon him was the Vetlesen Prize in Geophysics, considered to be the "Nobel Prize" in this field.
Prof. Yosef Aloni, who made major contributions to unraveling the control systems involved in processing DNA, was head of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics and Virology at the time of his death.
Shirley Weisgal, widow of the late Institute President and Chancellor Meyer W. Weisgal, was a full partner in her husband's efforts to win friends for the Weizmann Institute.
Avraham Agmon served as chairman of the Association of Friends of the Weizmann Institute in Israel; under his leadership it greatly expanded the scope of its activities.
Adold Ebner, an active member of the Israel Association, was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Institute and a generous donor, most recently of the Ebner Auditorium.
Ludwig Jesselson, a New Yorker, not only made significant contributions to the Institute itself, but also persuaded many others to provide meaningful support.
Prof. Aloni held the George F. Duckwitz Chair of Cancer Research and Prof. Pekeris, the Herman P. Taubman Chair of Applied Mathematics.