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Sir Frank Lowy Donates $18M USD to Tel Aviv University’s International School

December 13, 2022 |

The gift from the Israeli-Australian businessman will expand TAU’s offering of global programs and collaborations; it will include a scholarship fund for outstanding international students, a fund for visiting professors; and it will fund a new building for the International School.

Sir Frank Lowy is donating $18M USD (65M NIS) to Tel Aviv University to expand the activities of the International School, to be renamed ‘THE LOWY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Dedicated to the Memory of Shirley Lowy’ (the School honors Shirley Lowy, the late wife of Sir Frank). The official name change of TAU’s International School will take place on Tuesday, December 20, 2022. 

Enabling Further Expansion

The donation will fund the construction of a building that will serve as the new home of the International School, as well as the launch of three key activities at the International School:

  • The Lowy Scholarship Fund supporting outstanding international students at stages of their academic studies, including research students
  • The Lowy Distinguished Guest Professors Fund financing visits of leading scholars from abroad
  • The development of new international and local programs and initiatives

Sir Frank’s generous gift will also enable TAU to expand, enrich and diversify the School’s student body as well as its study programs. TAU already offers more than 20 English-language academic programs including a joint Liberal Arts bachelor’s degree with Columbia University, a new International BA in Management and Liberal Arts, and an online MBA program – the first of its kind in Israel.

Over 2,000 students from over 100 countries come to TAU every year, and there are more than 30,000 international student alumni worldwide. The School has experienced significant recent growth and now serves as the hub for all international activities on campus, including study programs, research partnerships, student exchanges, visits of scholars from abroad, and conferences.

The Lowy International School is central to TAU’s international strategy, aiming for several goals: enhancing international collaboration through research ties with leading institutions, attracting students from across the globe, and providing Israeli students with the tools they need to prosper in today’s globalized era. To date, the broad network of partners developed by TAU comprises over 280 institutions in 46 countries, including universities in the Gulf states and Morocco (a new and rapidly growing collaboration), Ivy League universities in the USA, and leading academic institutions in Europe and Asia.

Strengthening Ties between Israel and the World

“I have always been a Zionist,” says Sir Frank Lowy, “and now I am excited for this extension of my warm friendship with Tel Aviv University – intended to bolster TAU and Israel’s relations with leading partners in academia and industry around the world. With this gift, I hope to enhance the important connection between the State of Israel and Diaspora Jewry, and to encourage academic excellence by bringing the best researchers and students from all over the world to Israel.”

“My family and I know that my dear wife Shirley’s memory will forever live on at TAU, and this makes us very proud. Shirley believed in education, and in her 40s fulfilled a childhood dream and completed an academic degree. This tribute to my wife combines all the things that were most important to her – education, the state of Israel, and empowering the new generations. The gift in her memory will benefit students and scholars in many ways, and for years to come. I know that Shirley would be happy and honored to see that her legacy is commemorated in this way.”

Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University: “Sir Frank Lowy’s leadership and philanthropic activity have for decades generated significant changes in communities in Israel, Australia, and worldwide. This new gift will further enhance his impact, strengthen the ties between Israel and the world, and extend the reach of Israeli academia.”

“It is a great privilege for us at Tel Aviv University to regard Sir Frank as a close and steadfast friend. The fact that he has seen fit to entrust us with the legacy of his beloved wife Shirley, is a great honor for us.”

TAU Vice President International Prof. Milette Shamir: “We are immensely grateful for Sir Frank Lowy’s gift. It is a great honor for us to house THE LOWY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Dedicated to the Memory of Shirley Lowy. This generous donation will allow us to significantly bolster the University’s international standing, attract hundreds of excellent international researchers and students, and strengthen TAU’s ties with communities around the world. This gift brings about an enormous transformation when it comes to TAU’s global impact.”

A festive ceremony celebrating the important gift will take place in December in the presence of Sir Frank and his family.

About Sir Frank Lowy

Sir Frank Lowy served for many years as the owner and Chairman of Westfield Corporation, a global real estate and shopping center conglomerate. He has been a steadfast friend of TAU for more than 20 years, has received an Honorary Doctorate from TAU, and serves as a TAU Governor. His generous contributions to TAU include support for the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the Center for Combating Pandemics, and research in the field of nanotechnology.

As part of his broad philanthropic activities Sir Frank provides support for the Jewish community in Australia and Israel and donates generously to a range of causes in the spheres of education, security, health, sports, and charity. He has held various leadership roles in Jewish organizations, including President of Keren HaYesod in Australia – United Israel Appeal, and Leading Member of the Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA) in Australia.

Sir Frank was born in Slovakia, managed to escape before the Holocaust, lived in Budapest during the Holocaust, then moved to the USA. He moved back and forth between the UK and Israel, even taking part in the War of Independence as a Golani soldier, before finally settling in Australia. As an ardent Zionist, he recently fulfilled a dream of many years, and once again made Aliyah to Israel. 

Featured image: Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University (to the left) and Sir Frank Lowy

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