- The Government Committee for Science and Technology accepts the Gillis Committee’s recommendation to found a “University of the Negev.”
- The Department of Behavioral Sciences begins functioning. The first department of its kind in the country, it offers studies in psychology, sociology and anthropology.
| U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale on his visit to BGU | David Ben-Gurion visits the Negev Institute
1970 – 1975
- The Faculty of Natural Sciences is established.
- Due to lack of space, the first dean of students sets up offices on the lawn in a Bedouin tent.
- On the first anniversary of the death of David Tuviyahu, the campus — a former immigrant hostel — is renamed the David Tuviyahu Campus (located opposite Beer-Sheva’s hotel).
- The University acquires land for a new campus; a cornerstone is laid for the Zalman Aranne Central Library in 1970 — the first building to be erected.
- On May 30, 1972 the first president-designate of the University, Prof. Aharon Katzir, is killed in a terrorist attack at Lod Airport.
- Prof. Moshe Prywes becomes the first president of the University in 1973.
- In 1973, 33 students, teachers and administrative staff are killed in the Yom Kippur War.
- The Community Action Unit is established.
- Following the death of David Ben-Gurion in 1973, the Board of Governors officially changes the University’s name to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
- Prof. Moshe Prywes resigns as president in 1975 to assume full-time responsibility as the first dean of the medical school, which he dubbed “the Beer-Sheva Experiment.”
- The Faculty of Health Sciences is inaugurated. Guests at the ceremony include Prime Minister Golda Meir and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Thirty-four students (selected from 662 applicants) comprise the first class of the medical school.
- Ambassador Yosef Tekoah becomes the University’s second president in 1975.
- As a result of Soviet policies toward Jewish emigration, the University adopts several academic Prisoners of Zion, appointing them professors in absentia.
- The Knesset passes the Ben-Gurion Law, stating that three institutions are to be established to perpetuate Ben-Gurion’s memory: the Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv, the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute in Sede Boqer and the Institute for Desert Research, which is to be a part of Ben-Gurion University.
- The number of students rises from 1,300 to 4,038; among 700 faculty members, 150 are new immigrants.
| Building the Zalman Aranne Central Library | Classes were originally held at the HIAS House in the Negev,
a former immigrant hostel
1976 – 1985
- A Master Plan for the Development of the Negev to the Year 2000, co-sponsored by BGU, is presented to the Knesset.
- BGU, under the auspices of the Community Action Unit and together with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, introduces 20 “Open Apartments” in disadvantaged neighborhoods where students will live rent-free in exchange for community service.
- Under the auspices of the World Health Organization, Iranian medical educators visit the Faculty of Health Sciences. As a result of the visit, two medical schools are set up in Iran along the lines of the “Beer-Sheva Experiment.”
- May 27, 1979 marks the historic visit of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar al Sadat to the BGU campus to sign a formal peace treaty.
- The Leon and Mathilde Recanati School for Community Health Professions is established.
- The first adobe house, heated entirely by solar energy, is planned and built by the desert architecture unit of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in Sede Boqer.
- Advanced Products, Ltd., known today as B.G. Negev Technologies and Applications, Ltd., (BGN) is established to advance knowledge and patents that are produced by BGU research.
- President Yosef Tekoah is appointed to the post of chancellor. He is succeeded as president by Major General Shlomo Gazit in 1982.
- The opening of the school year is postponed in 1982 as a result of the war in Lebanon.
- The Overseas Study Program begins operation. Today it is known as the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program.
- Prof. Chaim Elata becomes BGU’s fourth president, serving his first year in 1985 as both rector and president.
| Egyptian President Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat receives the | President Jimmy Carter visits Sede Boqer
“Star of Peace” from BGU President Yosef Tekoah in 1979
1986 – 1990
- The first Bedouin woman graduates from an Israeli university. Shifa el-Houzayil receives her degree in social work from BGU.
- A pre-academic course opens to meet the needs of the massive influx of new immigrants from the Soviet Union.
- The Gate of Peace is dedicated in 1989 in commemoration of the historic visit 10 years earlier of Menachem Begin and Anwar al Sadat.
- Prof. Avishay Braverman is elected president of the University in 1990.
- The Charlotte B. and Jack J. Spitzer Department of Social Work organizes a course in the Development of Support Systems for Immigrant Absorption.
| The Gate of Peace | BGU students demonstrate on behalf of the Negev
- The Ben-Gurion National Center for Solar Energy is established.
- Final exams and the opening of the second semester are delayed as a result of the Gulf War in January 1991
- The Department of Life Sciences celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1991.
- Relative to its size, BGU has absorbed more immigrant researchers and students than any other academic institution in the country. Chairman Bob Arnow announces a special fund to aid immigrant students and faculty in memory of Chancellor Yosef Tekoah.
- BGU engages in various cooperative projects with Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and the Gaza Strip. Agreements for cooperation are signed with institutions in Argentina, Russia and France.
- UNESCO endorses the BGU-initiated International Program for Arid Land Crops. It is the first time a UN organization consults an Israeli institution for expertise.
- The number of students reaches 10,000.
| Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife | Early contructions of the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Building
Raisa at David Ben-Gurion’s gravesite for the Humanities and Social Sciences
- The Medical School is named the Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School at a special ceremony in 1996.
- The Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies is established in 1996, serving as the framework for all graduate studies.
- The School of Management is established in 1996 with five departments, offering for the first time a complete MBA degree.
- The Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies is established at the Blaustein Institute in Sede Boqer.
- The M.D. Program for International Health opens in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center, later called the Medical School for International Health.
| South African President Nelson Mandela | Solar farm at BGU’s Sede Boqer campus
receives an honorary doctoral degree in 1997
2000 – 2005
- The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research is inaugurated. The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research is reconfigured to incorporate three institutes of research.
- The pharmacology program is created, later to become the School of Pharmacy — the second one in Israel.
- In 2003, the Pilot’s Training Course is launched, providing a full academic curriculum for cadets of the Israel Air Force and resulting in a bachelor’s degree.
- The Eilat Campus opens as an integral part of BGU and regional development.
- The Honors MBA Program begins in the fall of 2003 – the only full-time, English-taught program of its kind in Israel.
- At a dedication ceremony in March 2005, the Beer-Sheva campus is named the Marcus Family Campus in honor of the generosity of Howard W. and Lottie R. Marcus.
| Students from the academic program | The Dalai Lama was on campus to receive the
for the Israel Airforce Flight Course graduate Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award
2006 – 2010
- Prof. Rivka Carmi, M.D. becomes the president of BGU in 2006, the first and only woman to head an Israeli university.
- Prof. Ya’akov Blidstein wins BGU’s first academic Israel Prize for Jewish Thought.
- BGU opens its facilities to residents of Northern Israel under attack by Hezbollah rockets in the Israel-Hezbollah War.
- For the first time ever, a conference under the auspices of the UN is held in Israel in November 2006. Deserts and Desertification: Challenges and Opportunities, organized by BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, is now a biannual event.
- A nationwide study reveals BGU is the number one choice of Israeli undergraduate students.
- BGU graduates Israel’s first female Bedouin physician.
- BGU establishes an accredited master’s degree program in Tourism and Hotel Management, the only one of its kind in Israel.
- The 11-year-old School of Management is named the Guilford Glazer School of Business and Management in 2007. In 2010, it becomes BGU’s fifth Faculty.
- The groundbreaking of the 150-acre Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) takes place in the presence of the Israeli prime minister and other dignitaries.
- BGU establishes an accredited master’s degree program in Emergency Medicine Management, the only one of its kind in Israel.
- BGU is awarded formal accreditation as a “Green Campus,” an initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Council for Higher Education.
- In 2009, BGU’s student population grows to more than 20,000, reflecting an unprecedented increase, unparalleled by any other Israeli university.
- A $90 million research fund for the BGU-affiliated National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev was established with $30 million from an anonymous donor, $30 million from the Israeli government and $30 million from the University.
- In May 2010, BGU celebrates its 40th birthday
| Prof. Avishay Braverman “passes the torch” | BGU emergency medical graduate student with the
to Prof. Rivka Carmi relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake