The Technion Israel Institute of Technology marked a new record in fundraising last year, with $60 million contributed by Friends organizations in Israel and around the world. An additional donation of $25 million was made last week by Lorry Lokey of San Francisco who visited the Haifa Institute last week with an American Technion Society delegation.
Technion president Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig announced on Monday during the opening of the Technion's board of governors annual meeting that the money would be invested, among other things, in construction of the graduate student village and the development of a new central academic program that will integrate life sciences and engineering.
Lokey, a founder and owner of the commercial and economic news wire Business Wire, said his donation would go towards a center for life sciences and engineering. A staunch believer in education, Lokey has already made significant donations to the Leo Baeck School in Haifa, as well as educational institutions and universities in the US.
"The life sciences and engineering program will demonstrate Technion's strength and standing in engineering, medicine and life sciences," said Apeloig. "The Technion will set up an interdisciplinary research center in life sciences and engineering, to be headed and led by Nobel Prize laureate and research professor, Prof. Aaron Ciechanover.
"We have already begun construction of the new life sciences building, with the faculty of biology at its center, thanks to the generous donation of Steve and Rita Emerson of Los Angeles."
Technion senior vice president Aviv Rosen said the graduate student village was being developed in accordance with the strategy adopted by the Technion: investing heavily in students and young researchers for the sake of the institute in particular, and for the sake of the future of scientific research and development in Israel in general.
Technion Senior Vice President and Director-General Israel German added that the village would cover an area of 22,000 square meters and would be a residential area on the crest of Technion City, intended for advanced degree students with families. The village will include 215 units of three to four rooms each plus a community center with a multipurpose auditorium, activities rooms, a preschool and playing fields.
Prof. Moshe Shpitalni, dean of the Technion's graduate studies school, noted that construction of the graduate student village was made possible thanks to two large donations that the Technion recently received.
"The village will make life easier for graduate students and will significantly strengthen the school, which is training a future generation of researchers and scientists," he said.