At a ceremony held last night, Wednesday February 8, 2017, BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, was named Distinguished Citizen of Beer-Sheva 2017. The recognition is bestowed on inspiring residents for their contributions in education, culture and sports, research and academia, seeking to unite people and promoting tolerance, public activity and involvement on behalf of the city, the community and the state.
Prof. Rivka Carmi is the first woman in the State of Israel chosen to head a research university. Prof. Carmi has been dedicated and active with a high degree of professionalism for years on behalf of the city of Beer-Sheva and the Negev region.
Among other things, Prof. Carmi actively seeks to promote the status of women in academia, and in medicine in particular. In her role as University president, Prof. Carmi acts unceasingly to promote research and development, aiming to position BGU as a leading, innovative and groundbreaking university in a range of fields.
Prof. Carmi is a partner in realizing the vision to make the desert bloom and turn the Negev into the leading geographic sector of Israel. She recruits significant partners and donors from Israel and around the world to support academia, science and research.
Prof. Carmi is leading a comprehensive strategy – the development of the University's North Campus – which will cover 230,000 sqm., doubling the size of the campus. It is an historic process, which will affect the image and character of the city and the University over the next 50 years. This development will strengthen the University, among other things, by increasing the number of students and building additional classrooms and laboratories. It will also strengthen the Advanced Technologies Park of which the University is a founding partner, along with the municipality and KUD International, as well as assist the IDF's move to the Negev, particularly the Intelligence and Cyber units.
A 1,000-bed dormitory complex is also expected to be built on the North Campus, which will strengthen the students’ already proven commitment to the community.
Internationally, the University has signed an agreement this past year to create a joint entrepreneurship and innovation center with Jilin University in China. BGU also received the largest donation in Israeli history: Dr. Howard and Lottie Marcus, z”l, bequeathed $400 million to BGU, which will be added to the University’s endowment, more than doubling it.
Prof. Carmi has received numerous prizes and prestigious awards, among them: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her commitment to deepen academic connections between the UK and Israel; as well as awards from IAPA (Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association), Hadassah Women, Yated and more.
The other six recipients for 2017 include: Maksim Ohana, Alona Barkat, Prof. Ron Dagan, Prof. Adi Wolfson, Rabbi Israel-Netanel Wartzman, and Rafael (Rafi) Shitrit. A lifetime achievement award was also bestowed on Mort Mandel.