"Let me congratulate American University on your creation of a Center for Israel Studies. It is a timely and imaginative initiative in exploring Israel's many contributions to human dignity and progress in our country's 50 years of existence. You will help to bring together Israeli and American scholars, writers, artists, and scientists to share their knowledge and face the challenges of the new global era. This is a commendable idea and worthy of the widest support."
—Shimon Peres, president and former prime minister of Israel, giving a speech at AU's commencement after receiving an honorary doctorate.