Celebrating American Dedication to BGU
June 28, 2016
The 2016 Oasis of Innovation at BGU’s 46th Board of Governors featured several dedications recognizing members of the AABGU community for their commitment and generosity to the University. (View a brief video that highlights this year’s events in Beer-Sheva.)
A garden, at the entrance of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, was dedicated in memory of longtime AABGU community member Dr. Mona Sutnick z”l.
“This is where the students come to hang out and unwind, and from now on it will be known as Mona’s Garden,” said BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, M.D.
The ceremony was held in the presence of her loving husband Dr. Alton Sutnick — a vice president on AABGU’s national board and new member to BGU’s board of governors — from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and their children Gary Sutnick and Amy Sutnick-Plotch, as well as many friends and colleagues.
Prof. Rivka Carmi lauded Al and the late Mona as invaluable advisers to Faculty of Health Sciences deans since 1985 when Drs. Sutnick visited BGU for the first time. Since then, the Sutnicks were instrumental in establishing faculty exchanges with Drexel University and the University’s partnership with Fox-Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
The Stephen and David Breslauer Archaeological Laboratory Building
The dedication of the Stephen and David Breslauer Archaeological Laboratory Building represents an “ingathering of the exiles” for BGU’s Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near East.
“Prior to this lab building, archaeological research at BGU was scattered over two campuses, three different buildings and five floors,” said Prof. Steve Rosen, vice president for external affairs and a 28-year member of the department.
“All of the archaeological researchers will be working together under one roof with the ability to interact naturally,” Rosen explained.
“Steve and David – you have contributed here not only to BGU, but to the science of archaeology in Israel, and we thank you,” said Prof. Haim Goldfus, head of the department.
Dr. David Breslauer said, “The Negev has been at the crossroads of civilizations for millennia. And it is appropriate that BGU – the university of the Negev – is destined to become a world-class center for archaeology research and the training of world-class archaeologists.”
The Jim Breslauer Pavilion at CDI
The Jim Breslauer Pavilion was dedicated at the Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) located in Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), adjacent to BGU’s Marcus Family Campus.
Housed in CDI’s lobby, the pavilion showcases all of the ingredients of the CDI story. These include, as CDI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ziv Ofek describes, “inspiration, 360 degree collaboration and disruptive technologies that only matter if and when the individual is at the center.”
Sponsored by Ben-Gurion University, CDI is a nonprofit center that brings together start-up companies, universities, innovators, researchers, industry leaders, and investors – in the fields of digital healthcare, education, social welfare, and smart cities – where they can work together to develop tangible, practical solutions.
“This is a visionary donation,” BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi declared to Jim Breslauer, who was the mastermind behind the building of the ATP as a whole.
“This is an honor. CDI represents something 18 or even 10 years ago that we couldn’t even envision. It’s new and different and better than what we could have dreamt about then,” Breslauer said.
The Ruth Flinkman-Marandy and Ben Marandy Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory Building and the Inauguration of the Ruth Flinkman-Marandy and Ben Marandy Chair in Quantum Physics
The Ruth Flinkman-Marandy and Ben Marandy Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory Building was dedicated at a celebratory ceremony.
The ceremony also included the inauguration of the Ruth Flinkman-Marandy and Ben Marandy Chair in Quantum Physics and Nanotechnology, which was bestowed upon Prof. Ron Folman.
President Prof. Rivka Carmi stated that the new building was critical for lab space for new recruits as well as cutting-edge researchers. “We could not recruit new faculty without having laboratory and office space for them.”
Ruth Flinkman-Marandy responded, “Almost 30 years ago, a friend introduced me to the work being done here. When I saw two atoms ‘talking to each other’ – I was convinced.” Ruth Flinkman-Marandy is a member of AABGU’s national board, Southwest region campaign chair, and is as a member of BGU’s board of governors.
“We started doing scholarships; I’ve talked to students who all say the atmosphere is really warm and welcoming. I’m very pleased that we could increase our giving over the years,” she added.
The Woodman-Scheller Israel Studies International Program
The Woodman-Scheller Israel Studies International Program was dedicated in a ceremony at BGU’s Sede Boqer Campus, marking the generous leadership of Wayne Woodman and Lisa Scheller, and Lisa’s parents, Roberta and Ernie Scheller, Jr.
The program was founded in 2011 and is taught under the auspices of the University’s Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism. The program draws graduate students from around the world, Jews and non-Jews, to study Israel firsthand from a wide range of perspectives.
Dr. Paula Kabalo, director of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, praised Wayne Woodman as the good friend needed to create a new enterprise.
“As David Ben-Gurion himself knew very well – it takes more than a vision to fulfill it…one needs to plan, act proactively, at times insist and even struggle. But, the most important thing one needs in order to create a new enterprise is a good friend – someone that will share the vision and will be willing to invest in it – thus declaring uncompromising trust in a shared goal.
“I have never met someone that embodies these characteristics more than Wayne Woodman – the Institute’s best friend and natural partner,” says Dr. Kabalo.
Wayne Woodman, AABGU board member and new member of BGU’s board of governors, responded with meaningful remarks that roused the audience to its feet: “Our gift will fund the advanced education of students from around the world; students who will return to their home countries armed with a depth of knowledge to speak accurately and factually on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people against growing opposition within universities and government institutions.”