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VMU to Award Honorary Doctorate to President of Yale University


On Thursday 20 June, 2 p.m., the VMU Honorary Doctorate Award Ceremony for President of Yale University Peter Salovey will be held at VMU Aula Magna (Gimnazijos g. 7, Kaunas).

Professor Peter Salovey is a renowned American psychologist who has worked at Yale University for over three decades and has served as its president since 2013. VMU will award him with Honorary Doctorate for achievements in the research of emotional intelligence and for Yale University’s efforts in the promotion of liberal arts, which in turn contributed to the development of VMU.

When VMU was re-established in 1989, it used the methodology of studies at Yale and Harvard as a reference point for its own studies. As a truly bold step in a still occupied Lithuania, VMU adopted liberal arts principles, going against the trend of narrow specialization: instead, it emphasised freedom to choose study subjects, closer teacher-student interaction, and encouragement of critical thinking. This system has helped VMU to learn from the best practices of Yale and other leading universities.

Prof. Peter Salovey is considered to be one of the pioneering scholars of emotional intelligence. The professor has written and edited dozens of books that have been translated into eleven languages, as well as hundreds of articles and essays about  human emotion and health behavior. Together with John D. Mayer, he developed a broad framework called “Emotional Intelligence,” the theory that just as people have a wide range of intellectual abilities, they also have a wide range of measurable emotional skills that profoundly affect their thinking and action.

Since joining the Yale faculty in 1986, Peter Salovey has been instrumental in its numerous programs, such as the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program, and others. Salovey has received the highest accolades for his achievements, including awards from the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation etc. The psychologist has also been awarded honorary degrees by the universities of Harvard, Pretoria, Shanghai Jiao Tong, and others.

Prof. Salovey hails from the famous Soloveitchik family, the progenitors of the famous rabbinic dynasties of Valozhyn and Brest. Some of its members lived in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For several centuries, members of this family contributed to the establishment of synagogues and yeshivas in Kaunas, Vilijampolė, and other Lithuanian towns, organized the qahal’s activities, established businesses, and were heavily involved in the public life.

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