Campus & Community

Harvard announces Evergrande support of three initiatives

5 min read

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard University announced today that Evergrande Group, an integrated industry leader based in China, has provided Harvard with University-wide, interdisciplinary support for three major initiatives.

Evergrande’s support will help create the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and the Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). The initiatives will catalyze work at Harvard that will impact people and communities in the United States, China, and throughout the world.

“Evergrande’s wide-ranging support will enable progress across the University,” said Drew Faust, Harvard’s president and Lincoln Professor of History. “Explorations of mathematics and new applications of computational power have the potential to shape a variety of fields and disciplines. Innovations in green building and sustainable development will influence how we live, and advances in human health will improve and extend lives. Harvard is fortunate to have been entrusted with this important work for humankind.”

Evergrande’s support is emblematic of the long-standing relationship between Harvard and China, dating back to the late 19th century. Today, the University offers a comprehensive curriculum of the study of China and East Asia, with research centers and programs focusing on Chinese studies and contemporary issues. Nearly every Harvard School is involved in China-related research and training; faculty members are working on numerous research projects — often in partnership with Chinese colleagues; and Harvard is home to the largest university East Asian research collection outside of Asia.

Each year, an increasing number of undergraduate and graduate students travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for language study and research, internships, and teaching opportunities. Harvard also hosts a strong contingent of talented students and scholars from the region.

Evergrande Group’s board chairman, Hui Ka Yan, said, “These three centers will promote top scientific research and development in related fields. I believe in their unlimited potential, which will give impetus to the improvement of the world’s academic level and the progress and development of human society.”

The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities will allow the Graduate School of Design to launch intensive research and education programs aimed at creating sustainable, high-performance buildings. The focus will be on better design, construction, and operation — especially in urban environments. Evergrande will support programs, facilities, and a research endowment.

“We are very eager to establish the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Graduate School of Design,” said GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, “and I am appreciative of this generous support. It is gratifying to know that the center, under the leadership of Professor Ali Malkawi, will provide the venue for collaborative and cross-disciplinary research that will have significant and productive impact for the future of the built environment.”

The Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will pursue core and translational biomedical research and education, with a focus on understanding the basis and role of inflammation in multiple human diseases. Evergrande will help support professorships, faculty, and research and educational activities. The goal is to eventually develop and evaluate potential treatments.

“Evergrande’s support holds the promise of transforming our efforts to understand the role of chronic inflammation in health and human disease,” said HMS Dean Jeffrey S. Flier. “The Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases creates a collaboration between HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that will bring together world experts with a shared goal of translating laboratory discoveries into life-saving therapies.”

“At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we are committed to transforming the future of medicine through life-giving breakthroughs,” added Betsy Nabel, president of BWH. “I am truly grateful to Evergrande Group for their partnership and visionary leadership in the field of immunologic diseases. We look forward to collaborating with Harvard Medical School on vital new discoveries that will improve the lives of people across the globe.”

The new Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will serve as a fusion point for mathematics, statistics, physics, and related sciences. Evergrande will support new professorships, research, and core programming.

Shing-Tung Yau, Harvard’s William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics, will serve as the center’s first director. “The Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications will establish applied mathematics at Harvard as a first-class, interdisciplinary field of study, relating mathematics with many other important fields,” Yau said. “The center will not only carry out the most innovative research but also train young researchers from all over the world, especially those from China. The center marks a new chapter in the development of mathematical science.”

“The University is committed to tackling new challenges and advancing knowledge for the benefit of people and societies around the world,” said Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber. “This support gives us an opportunity to expand our efforts — through the work of outstanding faculty, researchers, and students — in diverse fields, bringing Harvard’s commitment to excellence to bear on important intellectual and practical challenges.”