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On April 19, 2012 in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island three esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for the contributions they have made to this “Nation of Immigrants.” Celebrating the 120th year of Ellis Island, which opened in 1892, the 11th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards were hosted by NBC’s Meredith Vieira in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. This year’s Awards featured an opening tribute to R.M.S. Titanic, marking the centennial of the maritime tragedy.
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Born in Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Meier is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect who landed "the commission of the century," designing the Getty Center in Los Angeles. His distinct style of uncompromising minimalism has garnered him 10 honorary degrees and numerous design awards as well as the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1997. He has taught at many universities including Princeton, Harvard and UCLA. With current projects underway in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and his hometown, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the American Academy in Rome. His maternal grandfather - a leather tannery owner - Joseph Kaltenbacher, emigrated from Germany through Ellis Island in 1896.
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