stakeholder groups, including senior management, academic faculty, administrative and technical staff, and the students. Project IDF Ascent to the Negev, the military’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project since the establishment of the State of Israel, is progressing rapidly with the construction of the Digital ITC campus adjacent to BGU’s North Campus and the construction of the pre-military campus in the Ramot neighborhood. The establishment of the Innovation District in Beer-Sheva, which aims to promote three major national priorities – desert technology, digital health, and cyber security – is a complementary step, and the combination of these two moves is expected to make Beer-Sheva the capital of innovation on a global scale. Local and international hi-tech companies are flocking to the Advanced Technologies Park, recognizing the wealth of knowledge already concentrated in one district. With the expected relocation of tens of thousands of soldiers and their families to the Negev, the University must be prepared to absorb an increase in student enrollments and to capitalize on the anticipated collaboration opportunities. For this reason, the construction of the North Campus is an urgent priority. While we still have a way to go for the University to harvest the fruits of the economic, infrastructural, and cultural growth that is taking place in the Negev, we were happy to celebrate the opening of the Lorry I. Lokey Chemistry Building on the Marcus Family Campus this year, and we look forward to the establishment of the Guzik Cultural Center, a multi use complex on the new North Campus facilitated by the magnanimous donation of Nahum Guzik.

We should all be very proud of the accomplishments of the University and its alumni who have dedicated themselves to real world issues this year. Some of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered now were developed by BGU medical graduates. Advancements in solar energy and water management are more relevant than ever before. Advancements in nanotechnologies and other innovations being developed at the ATP and on campus are just a few examples of how the University is improving life throughout the world. Undoubtedly, the University management, local Negev municipalities, and the Israeli central government are making great efforts to advance the Negev region, and I believe that as members of the BGU’s Board of Governors the future success of their endeavors also rests with us. I encourage you all to continue to work tirelessly to promote BGU among your friends and colleagues and to support the University in every way that you can. I am confident that you will join me in embracing the challenges ahead, and that together we will celebrate many future achievements.

With gratitude, Lloyd Goldman

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