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Yugoslav President Kostunica presents bust of Michael I. Pupin to Columbia University
The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dr. Vojislav Kostunica had a lecture on September 13, 2002 at Columbia University's School of National Affairs. Kostunica's speech titled "The Quest for the Rule of Law: The Yugoslav Case", which was enthusiastically greeted by the audience of the Harriman Institute.
After the lecture Kostunica presented a bust of Michael Pupin as a personal gift to the University. The bronze bust was created by the renown Serbian sculptor Drinka Radovanovic.
Pupin was a famous Serbian-American inventor and scholar who attended and taught at Columbia University. After Pupin's death in 1935, the building of the Physics Laboratory at Columbia University was named "PUPIN'S PHYSICS LABORATORY" in his honor. 28 Nobel Prize winners presided at Pupin's Physics Laboratory. The Manhattan Project and the First Nuclear Pile started at Pupin's Physics Laboratory. This project was the first scientific work conducted on the development of the atomic bomb produced by the US. Many scientific discoveries in the last century took place at 'Pupin's Physics Laboratory'.
Dean Zvi Galil, who accepted the gift (the bust of Michael Pupin) on behalf of Columbia University said, "Everyone knows that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Simplifying a bit, what Bell really invented was local telephone calls. It was Michael Pupin who made long distance and international phones calls possible and the gadget that enabled it was Pupin's inductance coil".
The most prestigious prize of the Engineering School is the "Pupin Medal for Service to the Nation", Dean Galil assured President Kostunica that the school would make very good use of the bust. "We will display it (the bust) at each award ceremony so Michael Pupin will be there both in bronze and in spirit".