American Technion Society Mourns Loss of William Davidson


The American Technion Society (ATS) acknowledges with great sorrow the passing of William Davidson of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. One of the most generous supporters of the ATS, an honorary life member of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology International Board of Governors and a lifetime trustee of the ATS Board of Regents. A Technion Guardian, he also received the ATS Albert Einstein Award - the organization's highest honor - in recognition of his dedication to the ATS, the Technion and Israel.

His belief that education and good management are the best tools for promoting economic growth led him to establish the William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management (IE&M) and the William Davidson Chair in the IE&M Faculty at the Technion.  Dedicated in January 2000, the IE&M was the world's first comprehensive school dedicated to the international management of technology-based companies.

"Bill Davidson was a man with a quick and amazingly sharp sense of reality," said Boaz Golany, dean of the William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management. "His visits and the investments he made in Israel, brought him to realize the need to complement Israel's scientific capabilities and technological know-how with a source of capable managers able to chart Israel's course in the high seas of the global competitive markets."

"Then he decided to choose the Technion as the place where his vision of creating a world-class school of management would be fulfilled," continued Golany. "We shall always be grateful to him for making this decision and for providing us with the means to carry it out."

Mr. Davidson leaves behind multiple legacies - as a noted industrialist, as a visionary philanthropist and as one of the largest private investors in Israeli enterprise.  As the successful owner of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons, he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Detroit native received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Michigan in 1947 and his JD degree from Wayne State University in 1949.

He joined Guardian Industries in 1955, became CEO in 1957 and led the company from its beginnings as a small, family-owned glass company to its position as one of the largest international companies in residential and commercial glass, automotive and building products.

In addition to his transformational gifts to the Technion, Mr. Davidson made substantial endowments to education, cultural and community programs that included the University of Michigan; the Weitzmann Institute of Science; the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; and the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Children's Research Center of Michigan.

Among the myriad awards and honors bestowed upon Mr. Davidson during his lifetime are an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Michigan; honorary Grand Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne de Chene by the Luxemburg Minister of the Economy.

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The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university.  Home to the country's only winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine.  The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.


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