In May 1873, Mrs. Abby Bliss and her four children left Beirut and returned to Amherst, Massachusetts for reasons of health and the children's education. This book contains letters written to them between 1873 and 1874 by Abby's husband, Daniel Bliss, the first president of the Syrian Protestant College, later the American University of Beirut. Written in diary form just seven years after the founding of the College, the letters reveal the excitement of the almost completed construction of College Hall, the frustrations and achievements of their fourteen months of separation, and fascinating information about daily life and the politics of the time. They show Daniel Bliss as a loving family man missing his wife and children while enthusiastically dedicated to the task of building the College.
Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut (AUB) has had a positive and transformative impact on Lebanon, the Middle East, and the world. Published on the occasion of AUB's 150th anniversary, this commemorative volume serves as a lasting testimony to the extraordinary influence of AUB in its first 150 years and sets the stage for its future. This volume examines AUB's history from diverse perspectives and points of view. It deals with key moments in the early history of the University, and with its current position as a local agent with global concerns, also focusing on its complex relations with the USA and the rest of the world. Some of the chapters highlight salient personalities and important constituencies who have contributed to the legacy of AUB. Parts of the book also focus on the campus and its location within Ras Beirut, as well as their resulting interaction and mutual impact over years of growth and transformation. The book is organized according to five themes: Early History, AUB, the USA, and the World, Space, Academic/Scientific Contributions, and Salient Personalities