Concordia names engineering school after Gina Cody, a first for women in Canada
Cody says she wants the new name to help break barriers for women in engineering
Concordia University's engineering faculty is making history with its new name — the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science — the first in Canada to be named after a woman, the university says.
Gina Parvaneh Cody is the former executive chair and principal shareholder of CCI Group, a large engineering firm in Toronto. In another first, Cody became the first woman at Concordia to obtain a PhD in building engineering, in 1989.
The title is in recognition of a $15-million donation Cody has made to the school, the largest personal donation in Concordia's history.
Concordia grad donating $15M to the university. School will now have Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science faculty. Cody arrived from Iran in 1979 with a few thousand dollars to her name. Now has given largest personal donation in Concordia’s history.—@TurnbullJay
The university says it will be dedicating part of the money to creating a fund for equity, diversity and inclusion programming.
"I arrived in Canada as a young student from Iran in 1979 with $2,000," Cody said in a news release sent by the university.
"My gift to the university is for the next generation, so that more people can succeed like I did."
She added that she wanted to make the donation because university is a place for "women, people of colour, Indigenous populations and other minorities to pursue their dreams."
The gift will also help fund scholarships and research on smart cities and allow for the creation of three new chairs in the faculty.
There will now be chairs specializing in data analytics and artificial intelligence, "the internet of things" and "Internet 4.0" and advanced manufacturing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter Monday night to offer his congratulations.
A momentous donation and a historic achievement. Congratulations Gina - may your success and generosity inspire generations of students to dream ever bigger. <a href="https://t.co/RFh9T0ujwj">https://t.co/RFh9T0ujwj</a>—@JustinTrudeau
The goal in lending her name to the school, Cody says, is to help break down barriers for women in engineering.
Only 20 per cent of university engineering students in the country are women, according to Engineers Canada.