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From the Editors of MainGate

AUB: Excellence

Excellence is a catchword at AUB these days. The University has recently embarked on the Campaign for Excellence and AUB’s tradition of educational excellence is well known. But really, what does it mean? When finalizing the story list for the Spring 2003 issue of MainGate, we wanted to see the actual implementation of “excellence” on campus, so being intrepid reporters we decided to explore—a good undertaking for a cold, stormy February day.

Our fact-finding mission unearthed plenty of stories. The first stop was a visit to the AUBMC, whose track record of quality medical care is unparalleled in the region. Since its inception in 1867, AUBMC has been the first stop for many patients in Lebanon and from around the Arab world. However, as times change and treatments change, we discovered that AUBMC not only keeps in pace with medical research, technologies, and developments, but also is leading the pack with new interdisciplinary programs and an incredible group of surgeons. So impressive, in fact, we felt it had to be our cover story. Providing top quality medical service, we decided, was a fine example of AUB’s tradition of excellence.

The rededication of West Hall revealed a resplendent student center complete with facilities for all sorts of activities—music, theater, art, sports, politics—housed in a breathtaking building. The ceremony, which took place on a rainy Monday, was overflowing with members of the West family who traveled specially from North America for the rededication, alumni and friends, faculty and, of course, the students—who in our opinion were the real stars of the day.

Interestingly, while the ceremony was taking place inside West Hall, on its steps was a student protest against US military action in Iraq. The poignancy of the moment, for us, had less to do with politics and was more about the statement it made about AUB and its students. Our students are vocal, impassioned, and socially aware. AUB encourages them to develop—and shout out—their opinions. That
is excellence in action.

Putting together a magazine during a time of anxiety, uncertainty, and turmoil in the region can be challenging, but it is also being part of an American educational institution in the Middle East. We are honored to have AUB President John Waterbury, who in addition to leading the University is a distinguished Middle East scholar, as a contributor in this issue of MainGate. He shares his thoughts with the international AUB community on what he sees as some of the greatest troubles in the region—the economic and political hurdles facing many of the region’s young men and women. He explains the University’s prime position and responsibility in educating future leaders who will repair those systems. Outreach has long been part of AUB’s tradition of educational excellence, and it
is obvious the University is continuing to make contributions to the region through its alumni.

It quickly became apparent why AUB and excellence fit so well together. It is indeed part of the daily reality that is AUB. The Spring 2003 issue of MainGate will bring that home to you.

Best regards,
Ibrahim Khoury and Lynn Mahoney

AUB Wants to Hear from You!

Send us your news and opinions.

With AUBites scattered all around the world, it can be hard to stay in touch with fellow alumni and friends. Send your personal updates to the MainGate class notes section.It’s an excellent way to share news within the AUB community. Have a new job? Recently married or welcomed a new baby? Received any professional awards or honors? New publications? Planning for retirement? Spread the word—some of your classmates have probably been wondering what you have been up to for years.

AUB would also like to hear what you think about MainGate. Tell us what kind of features you would like to read or not read. We want your feedback!

Class notes and comments can be sent by e-mail to

Or by regular mail to:
American University of Beirut
Attn: Office of Information and Public Relations
P.O. Box 11-0236
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon
American University of Beirut
Office of Communications
850 Third Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10022