Concordia University names engineering dept. after alum, Gina Cody
Named in recognition of a $15 million donation, the engineering faculty building is the first in Canada named after a woman.
Three decades after she graduated from Concordia University in 1989 with a PhD in building engineering (being the first woman to do so) Gina Parvaneh Cody will have a building named after her: The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.
The building title is in recognition of her $15 million donation to Concordia University and is the first engineering faculty building in Canada to be named after a woman.
“I arrived in Canada as a young student from Iran in 1979 with $2,000,” she says. “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.”
Cody’s donation will not only support graduate and undergraduate scholarships for the years to come, but also allows the university to create three new chairs of study in data analytics and artificial intelligence; the internet of things; Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing. Part of her gift, which Concordia will match, will go towards a special fund for equity, diversity and inclusion programming.
By lending her first and last name to the faculty of engineering and computer science, Gina Cody hopes to break down the barriers that may prevent women from pursuing a career in engineering. Nationally, according to Engineers of Canada, only 20 per cent of university engineering students are women. Statistics Canada reports only 12.8 per cent of working engineers are women.
“Gina Cody is a role model for all of us and her generosity is a watershed moment for engineering and computer science in Canada,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard. “Her gift will have a profound impact on our institution. Our engineering and computer science programs are among the strongest in Canada and the world,” he said.