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University of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium

In recognition of their generous support of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the Dodd Research Center's main auditorium has been named for Doris and Simon Konover. It was dedicated May 22, 1996, by former United States Senator Christopher Dodd

Portrait of Doris & Simon Konover

Portrait of Doris & Simon Konover

Simon Konover was born in 1922 in the small town of Makow Mazowiecki, near Warsaw, Poland, where as a sixteen-year-old he survived internment in a labor camp. Fleeing Russia he was pressed into the Red Army and fought in the Battle of Stalingrad. In 1944 he was imprisoned in Siberia for nearly a year. Returning to Poland following his release, he learned that more than 50 members of his family had perished in the Holocaust.

At the age of 26, Simon Konover emigrated to Cuba and then one year later to the United States, aided by family members who had settled in the Hartford area before World War II. In Hartford he was initially employed in a family business and eventually became involved in real estate ventures. In 1959 he organized Konover & Associates, Inc., which has since become one of the nation's major real estate development firms.

Konover has been recognized on both an international and national level by being the recipient of the Scopus Award, the Distinguished New Life Award, which was presented at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., and the 1986 National Conference of Christians and Jews Award.

He has shared his success with many, including Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, the University of Connecticut, the University of Hartford, the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center and many other groups and institutions throughout the world. As recognition for his philanthropic work, Simon Konover received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Connecticut in 1996.

Doris and Simon Konover have been honored repeatedly for their personal involvement with the Jewish community, locally, nationally and in Israel, as well as for their generous support for a variety of other humane causes. The University of Connecticut is proud to honor them as donors to the Dodd Research Center and to claim them as valued friends.