Bina Ellen (née Margolese) — a foremost supporter of Concordia and co-namesake of the university’s Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery — passed away on August 8, 2023. She was 97.
Together with her late husband, Leonard Ellen, LLD 03, governor emeritus and past chairman of the Concordia University Foundation — who was mourned by the Concordia community a decade ago as a “gentleman who was passionate about [the] university and his city” — Bina Ellen contributed to a number of causes as a philanthropist and volunteer.
With a focus on Montreal and the Jewish community, the Bina and Leonard Ellen Family Foundation has for decades improved the areas of health and community services as well as education, most notably at the Jewish General Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Concordia.
The couple’s long-time advocacy for the arts resulted in a new home for Concordia’s art gallery in 1992. The renamed Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery in the J.W. McConnell Building is today considered one of the finest university-based exhibition spaces in Canada.
“Bina Ellen’s enlightened presence and her generosity, along with that of her husband Leonard, were instrumental in providing the gallery with the resources to become a significant presence in Montreal,” says Michèle Thériault, director of the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery.