President Lisa Anderson wearing AUC's Presidential Medal
Lisa Anderson was honored and formally installed as the President of The American University in Cairo by the Board of Trustees at the Chairman’s Dinner held last week in Cairo. Delivering her inaugural address, Anderson called AUC “a catalyst for transformation in Egypt” and discussed the roles she has had at AUC over the past years, as a CASA student, as a faculty member, as an AUC trustee, provost and now, as its president. Board Chairman Richard Bartlett concluded the formal installation of Anderson by conferring upon her AUC's Presidential Medal.
The dinner, hosted by Bartlett, was attended by American and Egyptian officials, including U.S Ambassador Margaret Scobey, and Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and former AUC Counselor, Amr Salama. Also attending were Egyptian university presidents, and other esteemed academics and researchers, including members of AUC’s Board of Trustees, Provost Medhat Haroun and representatives of AUC’s faculty and administration. A formal ceremony to install Anderson included remarks from Bartlett and Ambassador Scobey. Minister Salama also spoke, and praised Anderson for how efficiently and effectively she ran AUC through the weeks of turmoil in Egypt that erupted just days after she assumed the duties of the president. Provost Haroun echoed those sentiments by applauding Anderson and her administration for their making efforts to ensure the safety and security of the AUC community – efforts that including making daily rounds to downtown Cairo, Maadi, and Garden City during the days of instability to assess security at AUC facilities and in neighborhoods inhabited by AUC faculty and staff.
Anderson also revealed her perspective of AUCs role and importance in Egypt. “As has been amply apparent in the last several months, AUC continues to be both a reflection of, and an inspiration for, the hopes and dreams of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians—and by extension, for the millions of people around the world who were captivated by the discipline and imagination and courage and warmth daily displayed on their television screens during what has come to be known as the 25th of January Revolution,” she said.
“AUC’s promise in the twenty-first century is a reflection of both the new opportunities in global higher education and new ambitions and opportunities in Egypt itself. Thanks in no small measure to the energy and insight of AUC alumni, faculty and students, Egypt is being transformed, and in ways that make the role AUC can play even more crucial. A growing entrepreneurial sector, rapidly expanding communications technologies, an enlivened arts scene, animated (and sometimes unruly) public discourse all reflect, strengthen and amplify the spirit of deliberation, discovery and debate that are at the core of AUC’s mission.”
Praising the role of AUC in Egypt and globally, Ambassador Scobey said, “Two years ago, at the opening of that new AUC campus, I noted that even during times of high tensions in the Middle East, AUC had remained a beacon of light where open academic, social, political and cultural exchange produced constructive dialogue and brought the people of our countries closer together.”
Scobey added that during the historic events since January 25, AUC students and staff have shown how they continue to play a constructive and leading role in Egypt's future, whether at the AUC downtown campus in the heart of Tahrir Square's demonstrations, or in the debates and caucuses being held regularly on AUC's new campus. “I look forward to the continued academic, research and community leadership that President Anderson's tenure will bring to AUC,” she noted.