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"AUB in 1948" - excerpts of President Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr.'s article for the Whitman Alumnus magazine
 

Summer 2007 Vol. V, No. 4

Letters to the Editors

MainGate at University of Pennsylvania
Thank you for sending MainGate to our library at the University of Pennsylvania. I make them available to our faculty and students so that they might learn of the important heritage and current events taking place in Lebanon. I also hope it will encourage our students to consider doing year-abroad work there.

William J. Kopycki
Middle East Studies Bibliographer
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
University of Pennsylvania

Remembering E. Terry Prothro
Winter 2007, Vol. V, No. 2

I very much enjoyed the profile of Terry Prothro which appeared in the winter 2006/07 issue of the MainGate. I had the honor of working with Terry for several years while he was Vice President of Hariri Foundation-USA. I am sorry to relate that Terry passed away on June 2. He died peacefully in his sleep.

I am not an alumnus of AUB, but I have been with the Hariri Foundation-USA since 1985 and appreciate the close connection that the Foundation and AUB have shared since those early days. Many, many of the students I worked with at the Foundation were AUB graduates, and I was also responsible for the students we sponsored under the AUB Faculty Development and AUB Faculty Dependent programs which Mr. Rafik Hariri funded. Accordingly, I find the MainGate essential reading. It is an excellent magazine, and I look forward to future issues.

David J. Thompson, PhD
Coordinator, Educational Programs and Public Affairs
Hariri Foundation

Remembering President Penrose

My father, the late Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr., was the fourth president of AUB (1948-54).  Just recently my brother, sister and I were going through some of the family papers and letters from those years, and we came across an article written by my dad that was as timely then (in 1948) as it would be today.  He was writing for his own alumni magazine, the Whitman Alumnus, on the reasons why he was excited about accepting the presidency of AUB in those troubled times.  My siblings and I thought you might be interested in reading it.

We all read our copies of the MainGate even though we are not AUB alumni.  Our years in Beirut were very special to each of us and we still consider AUB our home.

Mary (Polly) Penrose Colby
Margaret (Dale) Penrose Harrell
Stephen B. L. Penrose, III

Excerpts of “AUB in 1948” from the Whitman Alumnus by President Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr.

“…For historical background it should be said that the institution is eighty-two years old and that it is quite certainly the largest American college outside the United States. The medical school used to be known as the best east of Vienna. It may now be, and I hope it will be, the best east of New York.

Of even greater interest than these facts is the situation in which the University currently finds itself. It is riding a knife edge of uncertainty, hone to uncomfortable sharpness by the file of conflicting political interests. It operates in the heart of an area of crucial importance to the world’s future, at a time when American prestige in that area is at the lowest ebb in history…It may be wondered why I stick my neck out by going to the Middle East at such a time…The opportunity for service overseas is but one side of the coin, the obverse perhaps. The reverse is the deepening of a channel through which an understanding and appreciation of the Middle East can be brought to America…If the American University of Beirut can help to provide some of the knowledge and the experience which America desperately needs, it will be rounding out the really vast area of its opportunities.

Now, do you wonder why the place appeals to me?

Please find more excerpts of “AUB in 1948” from the Whitman Alumnus magazine on-line.

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