“We are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and engaged supporter as Miriam Roland,” says Carr. “Concordia’s sustainability objectives include more support for research that targets the effects of climate change. We are eager to pursue this new collaboration with Ben-Gurion University, thanks to a gift that is focused on tackling a critical United Nations Sustainable Development Goal — how to make urban spaces more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”
With Concordia and Ben-Gurion University located in vastly different climates and cultural environments, the partnership that Roland has funded will bridge a range of experience on urban sustainability, zero-carbon buildings, the water-energy-food nexus and more.
The two institutions will take part in workshops and knowledge exchanges, “living-lab” experimentations and collaborations with campus-adjacent neighbourhoods, all in an effort to encourage more sustainable approaches to urban development.
“Designed to consolidate nature and technology to address some of the world’s largest environmental threats, our School of Sustainability and Climate Change is based on five decades of accumulated knowledge and research,” says Daniel Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University.
“We are extremely grateful for this remarkable gift from Miriam Roland that will facilitate a wonderful partnership with Concordia University and empower both of our institutions to purposively contribute to a more sustainable future.”
Adds Peggi Cohen-Rabinovitch, president of Ben-Gurion University Canada, Montreal chapter: “We are so grateful to Miriam Roland for her incredible dedication to both Ben-Gurion University and Concordia. This research will further strengthen the decades-long relationship between Montreal and Be’er Sheva.”
‘I would like to contribute to solutions’
Roland, who served on Concordia’s Board of Governors from 1991 to 2004, notes that Concordia and Ben-Gurion University have much in common. Both institutions were founded around the same time, have established bold objectives for growth and have impressive research footprints relative to size.
“I am also deeply concerned about the kind of world future generations will inherit,” says Roland, 92, who holds degrees from Stanford University and the Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago (now Adler University). “I think we live on a beautiful planet, and I would like to contribute to solutions that help us live comfortably without imperilling the lives of others.”