Skip to main content

His impact on our community

Shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Elie Wiesel began visiting the Tampa Bay community as a part of his life’s mission to keep the Holocaust fresh in our nation’s collective memory and prevent new atrocities.

February 3, 1987

Elie Wiesel visits Eckerd College for the first time as part of an authors’ speaker series. He urges audience members in the packed Eckerd gymnasium to “remember the horrors of the past” during a lecture titled “Building a Moral Society.” Read “Remember horrors of the past, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel urges” in the Tampa Bay Times.

May 7, 1987

After establishing relationships with Jewish communities around the state, Wiesel is invited to Tallahassee to speak to the Florida Legislature.

October 1, 1987

Wiesel speaks at a benefit in Clearwater and urges the community to not “discard the elderly. … We live in a society that extols the virtues of beauty and the beauty of the young. We are a youth-oriented society. Whatever is good must be young and whatever is young must be good. Somehow we are afraid of the word ‘old.'” Read “Nobel Prize winner Wiesel warns of discarding the elderly” in the Tampa Bay Times.

February 4, 1990

The Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach, a 42-foot bronze hand with small figures of people climbing it, is dedicated by Wiesel and other Holocaust survivors.

November 21, 1991

Wiesel returns to Eckerd College’s McArthur Gymnasium to give his second public lecture titled “An Evening With Elie Wiesel.”

January 1993

Wiesel teaches his first Winter Term at Eckerd College. Along with team-teaching the course Remembering and Forgetting: Personal and Political Transformation with Professor Carolyn Johnston, he gave a public lecture and held a press conference on campus. Read “Holocaust writer is at Eckerd” in the Tampa Bay Times..

April 1993

Wiesel returns to Washington, D.C., to shepherd the opening of the National Holocaust Museum.

January 1994

Wiesel returns to Eckerd for his second Winter Term following the hopeful campaign of former Eckerd College President Peter Armacost.

February 9, 1994

To close his second Winter Term, Wiesel holds a public lecture titled “On the Threshold of the 21st Century” for a capacity crowd in the College gymnasium with a message against violence. “Fifty-five million people were killed in the 20th century,” he told the audience. “I am not speaking about hunger or disease. I’m speaking about violence.” Read “World must leave behind its hateful past” in the Tampa Bay Times.

March 23, 1995

“Longing” becomes the subject of Wiesel’s fourth public lecture at Eckerd College.

March 4, 1996

A fundraiser for the Tampa Jewish Foundation Youth Leadership Division brings Wiesel back to the Tampa Bay area as the keynote speaker.

March 12, 1996

Following his fourth Winter Term, Wiesel speaks to the community about “Telling the Tale—Memoirs.” Read
Elie Wiesel pleads for Jewish unity” in the Tampa Bay Times.

June 24, 1996

The Florida Legislature organizes a workshop in Tallahassee for educators around the state to come and learn “How to Teach the Holocaust” from Wiesel. Read “Remember, but don’t stop there, Wiesel says” in the Tampa Bay Times.

March 2, 1997

Eckerd College, in collaboration with the University of South Florida and several other organizations, hosts the Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches. Wiesel delivers a keynote address titled “Hearing the Voices: Teaching the Holocaust to Future Generations.” Read “Keeping their memories alive” in the Tampa Bay Times.

February 21, 1998

The Tampa Bay Holocaust Museum (now known as The Florida Holocaust Museum) moves from Madeira Beach to downtown St. Petersburg. Wiesel appears at the grand opening and speaks at the dedication. Read “Never forget, Wiesel urges as Holocaust museum opens” in the Tampa Bay Times.

May 17, 1998

The Eckerd College Class of 1998 receives a word of encouragement from Wiesel, who delivers the Commencement Address. For his service, the College awards Wiesel an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

February 21, 2002

February 27, 2004

Eckerd president Donald R. Eastman III and Wiesel lead the celebratory march as Eckerd becomes the sixth college in Florida to have a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society installed. “What we’re doing today is celebrating and glorifying learning, the passion for learning, the taste for discovery in an open, ancient text,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel. Read “Eckerd College toasts entry into prestigious honor society” in Tampa Bay Times.

February 21, 2008

Wiesel delivers the keynote address at the 50th Anniversary Convocation.

March 11, 2010

Eckerd College offers an event during its yearlong series “The Plight & Promise of Africa” featuring Elie Wiesel and John Prendergast. The talk, titled “From the Holocaust to Darfur: If We Had Only Learned Our Lesson,” is a conversation open to the public.

April 14, 2012

The Florida Holocaust Museum honors Wiesel during its 20th Anniversary celebration “To Life.”

February 21, 2017

New York-based choral group, The Western Wind, performs We Are Still Here: In Memoriam – Dr. Elie Wiesel at Wireman Chapel. The event honored his widow, Marion Wiesel, who was in attendance and featured remarks from College President Dr. Donald R. Eastman III. View photos | view the program