Dr. Mark Hasten, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New York Medical College and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Touro College and University System, has led a remarkable life. During World War II, he hid his Jewish identity and served in the Polish Army, liberating the Majdanek death camp. He then immigrated to Israel on the ill-fated Altalena ship which was fired upon by the Haganah (the early Israeli Defense Forces) because they feared it was bringing illegal arms to Menachem Begin—a lifetime friend—and his Irgun group, who were waging their own battles against the British.
Following the declaration of the State of Israel, Mark Hasten served for two years in the fledgling Israel Defense Forces. In the early 1950s, he moved to North America to attend university and start his career as an engineer.
Anyone who has ever enjoyed a bendable straw, bowl of Cheerios, Pringles potato chips or Bugles snacks owes the experience to Mark Hasten. He invented and designed these products and the machines that produced them while he was Chief Development Engineer for General Mills.
Dr. Hasten’s personal history can be found in a biographical book, Mark My Words!.