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Sir Fraser Stoddart selected as 2017 ‘Great Immigrant’

Carnegie Corporation of New York to celebrate accomplished naturalized citizens

EVANSTON - Nobel laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart has been named one of 38 “Great Immigrants” for 2017 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which celebrates contributions of naturalized U.S. citizens annually on July 4.

Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in October 2016 for the design and synthesis of molecular machines. 

Stoddart is a strong proponent of open borders, which he says is a major driver of scientific advancement. Indeed, all six 2016 U.S. Nobel laureates were immigrants. 

"I think the resounding message that should go out all around the world is that science is global," Stoddart told The Hill shortly after winning his Nobel. "It’s particularly pertinent to have these discussions in view of the political climate on both sides of the pond at the moment. … I think the United States is what it is today largely because of open borders.”

This year’s Great Immigrant honorees include actor Liam Neeson (Northern Ireland), U.S. Representative Norma Torres (Guatemala) and Thuy Thi Nguyen (Vietnam), president of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. 

Started in 2006, the annual Great Immigrant tribute “salutes the invaluable role that immigrants play in helping to advance our society, culture and economy,” according to a Carnegie Corporation press release. The corporation was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, who, like Stoddart, was a Scottish immigrant. 

“Our annual tribute to Great Immigrants demonstrates the richness of talent, skills and achievements that immigrants from around the world bring to every sphere of American society,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This campaign reminds us of the debt the United States owes to generations of immigrants who become citizens and contribute to the progress of this country.”

The honorees will be recognized with a full-page ad in The New York Times on July 4. 

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic, grant-making foundation. Its agenda focuses on issues its founder considered particularly important: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge and a strong democracy.