BOG 2021: Inauguration of Sir Leslie Porter Square
Tel Aviv University on Thursday dedicated the Sir Leslie Porter Square in memory of the former TAU Chancellor, Chairman of the University's Board of Governors and generous benefactor. The festive unveiling and a subsequent tree-planting ceremony were a highlight during the 2021 Board of Governors Meeting. The event was held in the presence of Sir Leslie and Dame Shirley Porter's daughter Linda Streit and her husband Elli; and granddaughter Joanna Landau along with her husband, Edan, and their children, Amit, Mia and Zoe. Dame Shirley attended via online broadcast from Israel as did the couple's son, John Porter, from Switzerland. Dame Shirley, Linda and Elli Streit, John Porter and Joanna Landau are all current TAU Governors.
TAU Vice President for Resource Development, Amos Elad, presided over the tribute alongside TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Reuven Ladianski. The Sir Leslie Porter Square is located across from the iconic Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences Building, which overlooks the Tel Aviv skyline.
"Grandpa was many things. In the end he was a family man," said Joanna Landau at the commemoration. "He's right here, leading the way to the Porter School Building, next to grandma's initiative, and their legacy is here together. We feel it is very fitting that it is at this campus, in this city, and in this land that he loved so much."
From back left: Zoe Landau, Amit Landau, Edan Landau, Elli Streit, Joanna Landau, Linda Streit, and Mia Landau. (Photo: Chen Galili)
President Porat said, "It's remarkable how much impact this single family has had on the University, how much it has shaped the academic and physical development of the campus through countless important projects." He pointed at the Cohen-Porter family's outstanding legacy of multi-generational support for TAU, which started with Dame Shirley’s late parents, Sir John ('Jack') and Lady Sarah Cohen. As Linda Streit noted, the Cohen-Porter-Landau clan now spans five generations of engagement at Tel Aviv University.
The late Sir Leslie (1921-2005), of the U.K. and Israel, was a prominent businessman and philanthropist. TAU awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in 1974. Sir Leslie and Dame Shirley have played integral leadership roles at TAU over the years and have generously contributed to numerous projects on campus initially through Dame Shirley’s parents and subsequently through the family's Porter Foundation.