Some books may have been written about the history of AUB, but no one has yet attempted to collect the histories of this University, with their intertwining perspectives and complexities.
To mark this year’s 150th anniversary, however, scholars from AUB and other academic institutions, as well as independent researchers have come together to tell some of the stories of this resilient and ever-evolving institution.
The result is One Hundred and Fifty, AUB’s main published academic work related to the sesquicentennial celebrations, which goes on sale this week with a book launch on Wednesday, March 2.
Edited by AUB Associate Provost Nadia El Cheikh and Professors Lina Choueiri and Bilal Orfali, the book includes 26 chapters highlighting various aspects of the history of the American University of Beirut. This book is for anyone curious about the history of the University and some of its remarkable personalities. The book is available for purchase through AUB Press.
AUB, its histories and its characters
One Hundred and Fifty is organized according to 5 broad themes.
Early History offers different views on the changing role of the University within its region, the efforts of its faculty and staff during World War I, and its leading role in advancing the education of women in the region.
AUB, the USA, and the World consists of five chapters that examine the founding of AUB’s Arab Studies program, the development and decline of the Economic Research Institute, the struggles of academic freedom, the Thomas Aquinas Affair of 1966, and the soft power wielded by AUB and other transnational universities, both in the region and in China.
Space describes the influences of New England educational institutions on the early construction of the University, the evolution of the landscape of AUB, a history of the founders of AUB in relation to that of the Anglo-American Cemetery, and changes in the Ras-Beirut neighborhood since the Lebanese Civil War.
Academic/Scientific Contributions looks at the critical work of Cornelius Van Dyck, Mansur Jurdaq, and Edward Stewart Kennedy in promoting Arabic and Islamic sciences. The work of AUB archaeologists is highlighted, and so are the contributions of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to the region and the wider world.
Lastly, Salient Personalities pays tribute to several distinguished individuals: Bulus Khauli, Jurji Zaydan, Anis Frayha, Kamal Salibi, Constantine Zurayk, and Wadad Kadi. The last chapter celebrates three artists with an intimate connection to AUB, namely John Carswell, Helen Khal, and Huguette Caland. The celebratory 150th anniversary book One Hundred and Fifty will be launched on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (4:00 – 6:00 pm) at the Bathish Auditorium and second floor of AUB’s West Hall.
The launch will begin with a panel including President Fadlo Khuri, Dr. Bilal Orfali, and Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections, Dr. Kaoukab Chebaro. Dr. Betty Anderson author of “The American University of Beirut, Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education” will give a keynote lecture. A book-signing by President Khuri and contributors and a reception will follow.