Concordia Receives $15 million in Funding for Engineering and Computer Science Faculty

School of Engineering and Computer Science Becomes First to Be Named After a Woman

Concordia donor Gina Cody, with the university’s president Alan Shepard (right) and Amir Asif (left), dean of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. Photo Courtesy Mélodie Le Siège

Concordia’s first woman to earn a PhD in building engineering at Concordia donated $15 million to Concordia University and the Engineering Faculty on Monday afternoon, which is now being named the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

This makes Concordia the first university in Canada to name an engineering faculty after a woman. Gina Cody, business leader and building engineer, was the first woman to earn a PhD in building engineering at Concordia in 1989.

“I arrived in Canada as a young student from Iran in 1979 with $2,000,” she said in statement. “Concordia welcomed me and provided me with support that changed my life. My gift to the university is for the next generation, so that more people can succeed like I did.”

The $15 million donation will create scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as three new research chairs, focusing on data analytics and artificial intelligence. It will also be used for a special fund for equity, diversity and inclusion programming, with a matching donation on the side from Concordia.

“Gina’s gift is profoundly important for the university,” said Concordia President Alan Shepard in a statement about Cody. “This gift [will] allow us to build on the incredible strength that is already recognized globally and to make it even stronger for the next generation.”

Cody has completed her master’s at Concordia. She then became an engineer and later on, the president and principal shareholder of CCI Group Inc, an engineering and consulting firm.

Concordia says Cody’s donation will attract talented students and researchers. By having her name included into the faculty of engineering and computer science, Cody said she hopes this breaks barriers that may prevent women from pursuing a career in engineering.

“University is a platform for women, people of colour, Indigenous populations and other minorities to pursue their dreams,” she wrote.