Navigate through the website that showcases people and pivotal moments marking AUB history from 1866 to 2016
Our 150th anniversary slogan is We Make History; we honor AUB History Makers through the ages
Charles Malik

Charles Malik

Academic, Signed UN Charter
  • Activists and Public Servants
  • 1927
  • AUB, BA Mathematics and Physics 1927; Harvard University, MA; Harvard University PhD Philosophy
Charles Habib Malik was an academic, philosopher and diplomat. He received an MA and a PhD in philosophy from Harvard University. After teaching there and at other US universities, he returned to AUB and founded the Philosophy Department. In 1945 he embarked on a diplomatic career that spanned four decades and included serving as Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Education, ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, president of the United Nations General Assembly, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, and, perhaps most significantly, Lebanon’s chief delegate to the conference that drafted the United Nations Charter, of which he was a signer.
Nami Jafet

Nami Jafet

Teacher, Brazilian Entrepreneur
  • Leaders in Business
  • 1882
  • SPC, BA General 1882
Nami Jafet was a curious and talented learner and a gifted teacher. He helped his father, and later when attending SPC, helped teach freshmen science and math as an undergraduate. Out of loyalty to his father, who died in 1882, when Jafet graduated he chose to take over his father’s position at the Thalathat Akmar School even though he was offered a job at SPC. In 1893 he moved his family to Brazil, where some of his brothers had relocated and used his considerable vision and energy, not just to found an extremely successful textile company, but to organize and champion his fellow immigrants. As president of the Syro-Lebanese National Society he became know nationally as a philanthropist. AUB honored Jafet when he made a return visit to Lebanon in 1921. Jafet Library is named in his honor.
Costas Issidorides

Costas Issidorides

Chemical Research Founder
  • Innovative Engineers and Scientists
  • 1952
  • 1952 to 1986 as professor of organic chemistry at AUB
  • University of Iowa; Harvard University
Costas Issidorides was a professor of organic chemistry and the founder of modern chemical research at AUB. He is remembered as an exceptionally talented researcher, a generous mentor, and a valued colleague. During a remarkable forty-five-year career at AUB and later at the University of California, Davis, Issidorides published his acclaimed and widely cited research results in prestigious international journals such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry. He is best known for his coinvention with AUB Chemistry Professor Makhluf Haddadin of the Beirut Reaction, a chemical reaction that led to the development of hundreds of anti-bacterial and anti-cancer compounds and earned more than forty-five patents in twenty countries.
Philip K. Hitti

Philip K. Hitti

Helped Bring Arabic Studies to US
  • Great Scholars and Teachers
  • 1908
  • AUB, BA 1908; Columbia University, PhD
Philip Hitti was born in the village of Shemlan in 1886. He graduated from the American University of Beirut with first honors in 1908, teaching there for several years as the University’s first Lebanese professor. He departed for the US, where he studied at Columbia, becoming the first Lebanese, and the first native-born Arab speaker, to receive a PhD in the US in 1915. In 1926 he moved to Princeton, founding the first program of Middle Eastern Studies in the US, which he chaired until his retirement in 1954. Under Hitti’s leadership Princeton became the premier center for Islamic studies in the West and was one of the pioneers of the concept of area studies. He was also a prolific writer, and his seminal book, History of the Arabs, published in 1937, is in its 11th edition. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of AUB, the recipient of innumerable awards from the governments of the Arab countries, and received numerous heads of State in his home including the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon.
Raymond S. Ghosn

Raymond S. Ghosn

Engineering Dean
  • University Founders and Leaders
  • 1941
  • 1966-1976 as professor of architecture
  • AUB, BA 1941; MIT, MS
Raymond S. Ghosn was a beloved and admired professor of architecture who served as dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture from 1966 until his death in 1976, a casualty of Lebanon’s civil war. He was instrumental in a reorganization of the faculty that separated the disciplines of architecture and engineering and led to the creation of AUB’s five-year bachelor’s degree in architecture. In 2001, upon the 50th anniversary of FEA, the Raymond S. Ghosn Building was dedicated in his memory.
Ismael El Azhari

Ismael El Azhari

Politician
  • Activists and Public Servants
  • 1930
  • AUB, BS Mathematics 1930
Ismail Al-Azhari served as the prime minister of Sudan between 1954 and 1956, and as president of Sudan from 1965 until he was overthrown by Gaafar Nimeiry in 1969. He began as a teacher of mathematics and then an administrator in the Anglo-Egyptian condominium government that ruled the Sudan during the colonial period. Al-Azhari and other educated Sudanese demanded greater participation in the administration of the country, and to promote their objectives they formed the Graduates' General Congress in 1938. In 1952 he was made president of the National Unionist Party (NUP), which won an overwhelming victory in the elections of 1953. Al-Azharī became the first Sudanese prime minister in January 1954.
David S. Dodge

David S. Dodge

Stalwart Leader, Donor
  • University Founders and Leaders
  • 1997
  • 1961-97 as a trustee, acting president, and administrator
  • Princeton University, BA History; Princeton University, MA Near Eastern Studies
David S. Dodge was born was born in 1922 in Beirut. He was the son of former president Bayard Dodge, the grandson of former president Howard Bliss, and great-grandson of Daniel Bliss, the founder and first president of SPC/AUB. Dodge received his BA and MA in history and Near Eastern studies, respectively, from Princeton University. From 1949-76 he was employed by ARAMCO in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and its subsidiary TAPLINE in Beirut in several management positions including government relations. Elected in 1961 to AUB’s Board of Trustees, Dodge served as administrative officer, as well as vice president for administration, and acting president (1981-82), until he was taken hostage in Lebanon and held for one year. He again joined the Board of Trustees in 1983 and was chairman of the Daniel Bliss Society, a leadership group of donors. He held various other positions, namely president and chairman of the board of the Near East Foundation, and served as president and member of the board of directors of the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation.
Samih Darwazah

Samih Darwazah

Founder, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
  • Leaders in Business
  • 1954
  • AUB, BSc Pharmacy 1954
Samih Darwazah served Jordan as minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, senator, founder of the Jordan Trade Association, and advisor to the King. Following his studies, he worked for twelve years for Eli Lilly. In 1978, he returned to Amman and founded the pharmaceutical company, Hikma. It grew to become into a significant company, leading to an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. In 2007 Darwazah was named Ernst & Young Middle East Entrepreneur. In 2011, his generous donation to AUB helped establish the Samih Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the Suliman Olayan School of Business. Darwazah received the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012, and an honorary PhD in 2014. He earned a master's degree in pharmacy from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Missouri.
Emile Bustani

Emile Bustani

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Politician
  • Activists and Public Servants
  • 1932
  • 1961-1963 as trustee and president of the AUB Alumni Association
  • AUB, BS 1929; AUB, MA 1932; MIT, BS 1933
Emile Bustani was a Lebanese entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician. In 1939, he founded one of the most successful companies in the Arab world, the Contracting and Trading Company (CAT). He served as an AUB trustee from 1961-63, as president of the AUB Alumni Association, and in several ministerial post in the Lebanese Parliament before his life was tragically cut short in a plane crash.
Daniel Bliss

Daniel Bliss

SPC Founder, President, Teacher
  • University Founders and Leaders
  • 1916
  • 1866-1916 as founder, teacher, and president of AUB
  • Amherst College; Andover Theological Seminary
Daniel Bliss founded the Syrian Protestant College, which would later be renamed AUB, in 1866. He worked his way through college at Amherst, and became an ordained minister at Andover Theological Seminary in 1855. Almost immediately after becoming a minister he and his new wife, Abby Wood, traveled to Syria as missionaries. Their success as teachers led to his appointment to head SPC, which opened in 1866 after Bliss spent time securing funding and support from committed and resourceful followers. As professor, treasurer and administrator, Bliss guided the growing college with a steady, benevolent hand for thirty-six years until he retired in 1902 at the age of 81. His son Howard Bliss followed him as president.
Adma Abu Shdeed

Adma Abu Shdeed

First Female Medical Graduate
  • Pioneers in Health
  • 1931
  • 1948-1992 with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • AUB, MD 1931
Adma Abu Shdeed became the first woman to graduate with an MD from AUB in 1931, leading the way for generations of female students to follow. Abu Shdeed continued her post-doctoral training in pediatrics and gynecology in London and later in the United States. After spending ten years in Iraq as a teacher and medical consultant, she returned to AUB in 1948 to join the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and to practice in her private clinic. Abu Shdeed was a champion of women’s reproductive rights and health, helping to found the Lebanon Family Planning Association in 1969 and serving as its first president until 1975, as well as establishing free clinics throughout Lebanon. She was honored with many decorations, including the Order of Merit, Officer Rank, for her exemplary humanitarian career in pediatrics. Abu Shdeed retired in 1985, but her influence can still be felt at AUB and throughout the region.