April 2005, Vol. 6 No. 5
Presenting AUB to the Outside World on
Film and Video
Choral Concert Workshop and Guitar
Festival Held at the Assembly Hall
Civilization Sequence Program Screens Falstaff
Oleanna Play Reading: Power Dynamics and
Book Review: In the Path of Hizbullah by Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh
A Tree Grows in Hanine
Dr. Richard A. Debs, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, announced at the March board meeting that he will be stepping down as chairman at the end of the academic year in July. Dr. Thomas Q. Morris, vice chairman of the board, will succeed Dr. Debs as chairman.
Dr. Debs has served as chairman for over eleven years. He joined the Board of AUB in 1976 and had served as its vice chairman for eight years. During his tenure he has overseen the University through many historical milestones. He became Chairman during a transitional period for the University during Lebanon’s post-war period and successfully led the board and the University administration through the creation of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, the planning and implementation of a campus master plan and institutional self-study, the granting of accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the formation of the University’s International Advisory Council, overseeing the purchase and design of the new AUB New York Center, and the launching of the $140 million Campaign for Excellence. As chairman, Debs has mobilized his fellow board members to participate fully in the work of AUB and to contribute and raise money in support of the University. He and his family have been major donors to AUB over the years.
“Dick Debs has been the longest-serving chairman since the 1930s. He took the helm at a particularly critical time in AUB’s history, as Lebanon and the University emerged out of the dark period of the civil war,” said AUB President John Waterbury commenting on Debs’ tenure. “He and the board presided over the rebuilding of AUB’s faculty and infrastructure. During his tenure the market value of the University’s endowment grew impressively, providing significant resources for the rebuilding effort. He helped launch and contributed personally to AUB’s Campaign for Excellence, which has now cleared the unprecedented level of $100 million on its way to $140 million. These and many other initiatives contributed to AUB’s signal achievement of full accreditation granted in June 2004 by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Dick Debs recruited me to the presidency of AUB, and it has been a great privilege for me to serve under his leadership.”
Dr. Debs was the founding president of Morgan Stanley International, and continues with Morgan Stanley as an advisory director and member of its International Council. Previously he had served as the chief
operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and as an alternate member of the Federal Open Market Committee. He is the US chairman of the Bretton Woods Commission, past chairman and a member of the New York Stock Exchange International Committee, vice chairman of the US Saudi Arabian Business Council, and a member of the Group of Thirty, and has served as an adviser to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Russian American Bankers Forum. He is also Chairman Emeritus of Carnegie Hall, where he continues to serve on the Executive Committee, and a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Institute of International Education, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and director of several international business and financial corporations. He is also a member of the Economic Club of New York, Japan Society, American Council on Germany, and Council on Foreign Relations. He has received awards from the Fulbright Association, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the National Academy of Design, and a decoration from the government of Saudi Arabia. He was a Fulbright scholar in Egypt and a Ford Foundation fellow, and holds a PhD from Princeton, a JD from Harvard Law School and an AMP from the Harvard Business School. Debs is married to Dr. Barbara Knowles Debs, who is the former president of Manhattanville College and of the New-York Historical Society.
Dr. Morris, who will succeed Debs as chairman, said, “I look forward to serving AUB during this vibrant moment in its rich history, which can be attributed to the remarkable leadership of Dick. His commitment to the institution has been extraordinary and serves as an example to all trustees. Dick has played a vital role in making AUB what it is today—simply the best higher educational institution in the region.”
Dr. Morris was formerly the President and CEO of the Presbyterian Hospital in the city of New York. He subsequently served as vice president for Health Sciences, and vice dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University. He is currently alumni professor emeritus of Clinical Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and consultant emeritus at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Morris joined the Board of Trustees AUB in 1985 and became vice chairman in 1994.
Dr. Ray R. Irani, who has served as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees since 1994 and trustee since 1986, will serve as the co chairman of the AUB Board of Trustees. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Dr. Philip S. Khoury, who has served as a trustee since 1997, will be vice chairman of the board. He is currently dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Debs will continue to serve in the capacity of chairman emeritus and will participate in the work of the University.