September 2003, Vol. 4 No. 8

Highlight of the month:

Mediterranean Studies Conference
Master of Science in Nursing


check it out


Articles included:

Afifi and Kayssi Win First Excellence in Teaching Awards
Fourth Service Excellence Awards Presented to Five AUB Employees
Fingerprints Grows Stronger Year By Year
Message from Provost Peter Heath
40th Anniversary SPAN Reunion in Lebanon
Mediterranean Studies Conference: "Identities and Tensions"
Communication Skills in Medicine
Master of Science in Nursing Program at AUB
New Faculty Profiles: Department of English
Career Orientation and Job Fair



Seven English Department Instructors Present Papers in Greece and England
Civilization Sequence Forum 2002-03
Success for Pottery and Ceramics
Talent and Creativity on Display at the 3rd Annual Sculpture Exhibition

40th Anniversary SPAN Reunion in Lebanon


SPAN visitors meet with President Waterbury, extreme right; Director of Information and Public Relations Ibrahim Khoury, second from left, and Samir Kadi, second from right

Three of ten Americans (all originally from Minnesota) visited Lebanon from June 22 until June 29, 2003 for the 40th reunion of their summer 1963 Student Project for Amity Among Nations (SPAN).

Members of SPAN Lebanon 1963 included James Warner Bjorkman, Patricia Anderson (deceased), Elizabeth Bruzek, Vernon Jensen, Kirsten Lind Ingerson, Susan Lundberg Johnson, David Minge, Gordon Shumaker, Thomas Thibodeau, and Catherine Elaine Watson.

The three visiting members representing the original group in Beirut were Catherine Watson, senior Travel Editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Judge David Minge, Minnesota Court of Appeals and congressman from Minnesota during 1992-2000 (with his wife, Karen Minge); and Dr James Bjorkman, professor of public policy and administration at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, as well as professor of public administration and development at Leiden University (Netherlands).

In a meeting on June 26, 2003, the visitors presented AUB President John Waterbury with a volume entitled SPAN Lebanon 1963: Lighting Candles, Not Cursing Darkness, comprised of nine theses written by the SPAN students forty years ago on the research projects they undertook during the summer of 1963. The visitors regard the occasion as an opportunity to honor and commemorate Professor Yahya Armajani, SPAN adviser and professor at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) to whom the entire volume is dedicated. A copy of the work will be donated to the AUB library.

In his introduction to the volume Professor Bjorkman states that "SPAN began in 1948 as a consortium between the University of Minnesota and about a dozen colleges that cultivated international understanding through practical academic research. Each year four (sometimes three) countries were selected as destinations. It was--and is, because SPAN continues today--a self-financed program through voluntary donations by businesses in the Upper Midwest as well as by contributions from the participants themselves (known as SPANners). The program was oriented toward more advanced students, so applicants were usually students in their junior (third) year of undergraduate studies."

The activities scheduled for the visitors during their stay included visits to ESCWA and meetings with AUB faculty and staff in their respective areas of interest: Professors Randa Antoun, Samir Khalaf, Helga Seeden, Nizar Hamzeh, Yahya Sadowski. They also met with Souheir Mabsout, assistant director, Facilities Planning and Design Unit; Robert Fayad, Khalad El Moulla; and Suzy Hakimian at the Archaeological Museum, Angus Gavin at Solidere, Lady Cochrane at Sursock Palace and several government officials.

On June 25, 2003, they attended a presentation by President Waterbury on AUB today and an alumni dinner under his patronage at Marquand House. Since 1963, when SPANners opted to link their reunion with AUB's commencement and reunion activities, they attended the commencement events on Saturday, June 28, 2003, including the presentations of honorary degrees in the Assembly Hall. Samir Kadi, associate director of development/director of Alumni Affairs; Ibrahim Khoury, director of Information and Public Relations; and Elizabeth Vermey, consultant for accreditation and institutional support all participated in the coordination of the visit to Beirut.

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