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A “timeless book” celebrating AUB’s first 150 years is launched at signing event
2/21/2017
Jennifer Muller  |  Office of Communications  |  media@aub.edu.lb  | 
A “timeless book” celebrating AUB’s first 150 years is launched at signing event

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“This was a labor of love,” said President Khuri at the book launch for Lead, Innovate, Serve: A Visual History of the American University of Beirut’s First One Hundred and Fifty Years. This is the culmination of years of work by internal and external teams whose vision was to tell the remarkable story of AUB in pictures, historical documents, and essays.


 
Trustees, friends, faculty, and staff stood in line to be the first ones to purchase the book and get it signed by the President and several of the contributors.  After the official launch, Lead, Innovate, Serve will be available for purchase at the AUB Press in College Hall (B2) and at local bookstores. It will also be possible to order it from the AUB Press website.

 
Following the introductory section of this 273-page book, there are five chapters covering the different eras of AUB, from its founding to the dawn of a new millennium. Each of these chapters is preceded with one or two essays from an array of contributors, six of whom were present at the event to have personal conversations with attendees and co-sign the book.

 
President Khuri began by thanking the contributors for essays he described as “spectacular”: Nora Boustany on the foundation of the Syrian Protestant College, Kamal Badr on early medicine at the Syrian Protestant College, essays on the academic awakening at AUB in the sciences and the humanities after WWII from Makhluf Haddadin and Samir Khalaf, essays on the 1970s and 1980s from Makram Rabah, and a testimonial to the Medical School and Medical Center during this period from Joseph Simaan.  In addition, Betty Anderson and John Waterbury wrote essays, but were unable to attend the launch event.

 
The President went on to thank Ada Porter, editor of the volume and Assistant Secretary of the University, explaining that he initially had reservations about this project when Ada told him she was making a coffee table book.

 
“My first instinct was to say ‘no, we don’t need another coffee table book’,” said President Khuri who added that he changed his mind when Ada told him “what this would encompass: the people, the places, the moments in history which were extracted from one hundred and fifty really timeless years.”

 
The book includes not only pictures but many reproductions of historic documents, letters, speeches, maps, journal entries, and snippets from campus life such as songs, student publications, and yearbook photos, offering a rare glimpse into the treasures held in the AUB Archives and Special Collections of the University Libraries.

 
After thanking the research teams, the Archives and Special Collections, and the AUB Press for their tireless work on this book, President Khuri commended Nour Kanafani and his team from Communication Design, who shepherded this project from initial concept to printing and binding.  

 
“Nour Kanafani, who is our graduate, really slaved over this like it was his baby.  I mean, every page, every graph, every photograph really was perfection,” said President Khuri. “He showed an alumnus who is deeply touched and loyal and inspired by his institution.  I really think he did a magnificent job.”

 
All proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to the “150 for 150 Endowed Scholarship Fund,” which is only possible because this project was fully funded by the Strategic Partners for AUB’s 150th anniversary.

 
“This project was, along with other projects and all the celebrations, funded by our Strategic Partners,” said the President. “They allowed us to celebrate without taxing our students or our resources.  So I really want to thank our Strategic Partners”

 
This is the second major publication for AUB’s 150th anniversary, joining One Hundred and Fifty, which includes academic essays examining the University’s history from diverse perspectives and points of view, published in February 2016.  Together, these books will serve as a lasting testimony to the extraordinary influence of AUB in its first 150 years and will set the stage for the next 150 years.

 
“To the editors, designers, essayists, and contributors: thank you for this timeless book,” concluded President Khuri.
Story Highlights
  • ​​“This was a labor of love,” said President Khuri at the book launch for Lead, Innovate, Serve: A Visual History of the American University of Beirut’s First One Hundred and Fifty Years. This is the culmination of years of work by internal and external teams whose vision was to tell the remarkable story of AUB in pictures, historical documents, and essays.
 
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