AUB's 125th anniversary celebrations in 1992 coincided with the beginnings of Lebanon's return to peace after sixteen years of civil war, throughout which AUB continued to function. This book is a special anniversary tribute to the founders of the university, originally the Syrian Protestant College, who laid the foundations on which the college could grow and develop into one of the leading institutions of higher education in the Middle East. The book documents seven of the original faculty: Daniel Bliss, the first president; David Stuart Dodge; Edwin R. Lewis; Harvey Porter; George E. Post; Cornelius Van Dyck; and John Wortabet. Sections in English and Arabic include speeches, official papers, letters, and articles – some contemporary, others more recent – that demonstrate the values and principles these founding fathers sought to put into practice.
Speeches made at the commencement exercises of the Syrian Protestant College are collected in this volume, from the first in 1870 (five graduates) to the fifty-first in 1920, when the SPC became the AUB. Also included are commentaries on the commencement exercises, as they appeared in prominent contemporary newspapers, and a copy of the first diploma granted by the SPC. This is a valuable resource for all those interested in the history of education in the Middle East and particularly in the history of AUB, the institution that sought to become a link between the society and heritage of the Arabs, and those of the western world.