Bob Mayer's remarks introducing the 2013 Terezin Legacy Award recipient,
Governor Deval L. Patrick
As some of you may know, Terezin, or – Theresienstadt as it was called in my household, was a place I heard about often when I was a child since it was where my mother’s parents, residents of the northern Bavarian town of Coburg, were transported in a sealed cattle car in 1942, eventually perishing there during a typhus epidemic. As I learned more about Terezin, I was immensely moved to learn of the continued artistic creativity that had somehow prospered within this restricted community. The incredible cabaret pieces of Kavel Svenk which George Horner and Yo Yo Ma performed represent a remarkable example – with the amazing selection – “How Come the Black Man sits in the Back of the Car” predating Rosa Parks and the integration efforts in the United States by many years. I have been similarly impressed by the goals of this foundation, not only through perpetuating the memory and accomplishments of the Terezin residents but also by continuing to foster new and imaginative compositions through original commissions such as we heard earlier this evening. It was a tremendous privilege for me to be the recipient of the Terezin Legacy Award in 2010; it is now my great pleasure to introduce you to this year’s awardee, Deval L. Patrick, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Terezin Legacy Award celebrates commitment to diversity, tolerance, and dialogue through acts of civil service, philanthropy, scholarship, and artistry. Governor Patrick’s life and career epitomize these characteristics.
Emerging from a single parent home on the south side of Chicago, Governor Patrick came to Massachusetts as an eighth grade student to attend the Milton Academy. He went on to Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. He practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow where he was named a Partner at age 34, and was subsequently appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice where he worked on such issues as racial profiling and police misconduct. Governor Patrick later served as Vice President and General
Counsel for Texaco, heading the company’s global legal affairs, and as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of the Coca Cola Company. He was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2006 on a platform of hope and change, placing particular emphasis on funding public education and promoting the State’s life science industry. I am well aware, as an academic physician, of Governor Patrick’s success in attracting not only start-up biotechnology companies but major pharmaceutical firms to become a presence and a partner with our academic medical centers. Governor Patrick was re-elected to a second term as Governor in 2010.
Symbolic of the Terezin Legacy Award is a glass sculpture created by Steven Weinberg, an innovative artist and leader in the world of cast glass whose works are part of the permanent collections of multiple museums in the United States and abroad. The design of the Terezin Legacy Award is inspired by a brick found in the walls of the fortress of Terezin and brought to Mr. Weinberg as a source of artistic inspiration. Like the Foundation’s musical commissions, this original work captures, honors, and transforms the Terezin legacy; my “brick” which I received in 2010 is proudly displayed in our home.
It is my great pleasure to present the 2013 Terezin Legacy Award to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deval L. Patrick.
Thank you so much, Governor Patrick, for those meaningful words and congratulations once again for receiving the award. Before we have our dinner, I want to acknowledge what must be obvious to all of you – the absolutely incredible artistic generosity which Yo Yo Ma demonstrated this evening, performing works ranging from Bach and Mozart to the meaningful Ernst Bloch “prayer”. Yo Yo – would you like to say a few words?
Thanks so much. Enjoy your dinner.