Remembering Alter Wiener, Holocaust Survivor and Friend of WPU

December 13, 2018

Alter Wiener (left) receives an honorary bachelor’s degree from then president Jay Barber on December 15, 2001. Photo by Scott Thompson.

Warner Pacific University is saddened to learn of the death of Alter Wiener, Holocaust survivor, author, and educator. Mr. Wiener was awarded an honorary bachelor’s degree from Warner Pacific University on December 15, 2001.

“With the strength of his faith, Alter Wiener was able to use the horrific experiences of his youth as a platform to share a message of hope,” said Dr. Andrea P. Cook, president of Warner Pacific University. “Alter believed that we are all children of God, each deserving of love, respect, and equal opportunities. This shared value led Warner Pacific to bestow on Alter Wiener an honorary bachelor’s degree. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Wiener, who regularly spoke about his Holocaust experience in schools throughout the state, endeared himself to the Warner Pacific community after sharing his life story at a powerful chapel service in September 2001. A student moved by his words suggested to the faculty that Wiener receive an honorary degree in recognition of his meaningful role as an educator in Oregon.

Having never completed more than an elementary school education, Wiener was deeply moved by the honorary degree. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the honor given to me today,” said Wiener during his acceptance speech. “Believe me; I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”