Shmunis Honorary Degree Ceremony
Tel Aviv University awarded honorary degrees to Sandra and Vlad Shmunis
In a festive ceremony held during the 2023 Board of Governors meeting, Tel Aviv University awarded honorary degrees to 9 individuals, all of whom have made an exceptionally positive impact on the world. Two of the recipients of the honorary degrees were Sandra and Vlad Shmunis. The honorary degrees were awarded by the Chairwoman of TAU's Board of Governors, Dafna Meitar-Nechmad, President Prof. Ariel Porat and the Rector Prof. Mark Steif.
Sandra and Vlad Shmunis: “If our contribution can help move the needle at least for some people, that would be extremely meaningful. Our goal is to support the scientists. The state of Israel and Tel Aviv University in particular have amazing talent, so what better place to invest than in philanthropy that can produce some meaningful results?”.
The committee’s explanation:
“in recognition of their transformation from humble beginnings as immigrants to influential power couple; their entrepreneurial vision in founding RingZero Systems and, later, RingCentral, a provider of cloud-based communication solutions; their caring philanthropic spirit in supporting diverse important causes in Israel and the US through their family foundation, among them Jewish values, young entrepreneurs, cancer research and Biblical archaeology; their particular generosity toward Tel Aviv University in establishing the highly successful Shmunis School for Biomedicine and Cancer Research Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute; and their warm friendship toward Israel and desire to help position it as a global leader in cancer and molecular biomedical research”.
Sandra and Vlad Shmunis immigrated to the USA from Odessa in the Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, in the 1970s and 1980 respectively. Together they founded an organizational software company called Ring Zero Systems, which they went on to sell to Motorola, before establishing a communications solutions company called RingCentral in 1999.
RingCentral is acknowledged as the world’s largest and fastest-growing global pure-cloud communications solutions provider and was publicly floated in 2013. Sandra later went on to pursue other professional interests including real estate investment and development. Vlad has received numerous accolades for his leadership abilities, including being named as a Top 10 CEO of a large company and the 2020 Unified Communications Leader of the Year Award. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in computer science from San Francisco State University and is a named inventor on a variety of US patents. Sandra holds a degree in computer engineering and today focuses most of her efforts on running the family’s philanthropic foundation.