A story of how one stone changed the world…
1912. 36 years before Israel declared independence, a ceremony took place on the barren slopes of Mount Carmel near the port of Haifa, which was then occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Unknown to the Haifa community witnessing the event, this would be a milestone in history. This first cornerstone embodied an implausible vision of creating a world-class institute of scientific and technological education in the Holy Land.
The story of the “Technikum” – the original German name of the Technion – is a tale of the century. The second industrial revolution created the printing presses and communications infrastructure allowing Jews scattered across the globe to organize in face of rising anti-Semitism. As Jews were often barred from technical education, the establishment of a technical school was a first priority to rebuilding a Jewish homeland. The Technion was to become unique worldwide as a university that would precede, create, shape, and protect a modern state.
The cornerstone laid on April 11, 1912, set in motion a century of progress responding to national and global needs. Technion would grow rapidly, becoming a global pioneer in fields such as biotechnology, stem cells, space, computer science, nanotechnology, and energy. Three Technion professors have won Nobel Prizes.
As Technion celebrated its cornerstone centennial in 2012, Technion City had become a modern miracle – a thriving world center of research and teaching, with 12,850 students and 80 graduate programs trailblazing excellence in research and teaching for the benefit of humanity.