AUB President Peter F. Dorman to be inducted in an official inauguration ceremony
For the first time in 25 years, an inauguration ceremony will be held for the American University of Beirut's new president.
The formal ceremony, which will install Professor Peter F. Dorman as the 15th president of the University, will be held at noon on May 4, in Assembly Hall, culminating a weekend of inaugural celebrations, starting with a faculty symposium on May 3 on academic freedom and innovation in the Middle East.
The inaugural theme will be "Toward an Abundant Life," and events will be scheduled throughout the entire "Inauguration Month of May" in honor of this occasion.
Although Dorman assumed his duties as president on July 1, 2008, the ceremony will mark his official induction into the presidency, when Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Morris symbolically hands him a mace, signifying the transfer of authority and responsibility to the new president.
On behalf of the AUB Board of Trustees, Morris called on the university community to participate in this landmark event, thus giving a chance for AUB faculty, staff, students, and guests to celebrate the accomplishments of this institution and strengthen their ties and commitment to it.
The inaugural ceremony will revive a tradition that was interrupted for over two decades because of the political and security situation in the country.
In honor of this occasion, classes will be suspended between 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm so that students, staff, and faculty can watch the inauguration at various locations around campus. The inaugural ceremony will be followed by a campus-wide picnic lunch.
A variety of events will be held under the umbrella of Inauguration Month, including the Second annual WAAAUB Convention, a University Choir performance, the Folk Dance Festival, a student concert, a sports parade, and a student outdoor activities event. A full program is attached with this email.
Government officials, diplomats, and distinguished alumni and donors as well as delegates representing colleges and universities in Lebanon and internationally are expected to be among the guests of the inaugural ceremony.
Dr. Peter Dorman, who completed his undergraduate studies at Amherst (BA, 70) and University of Chicago (PhD, 85), is the great-great grandson of Daniel Bliss -- the founder of AUB. He brings to the presidency a record of academic accomplishment as a humanist and an international leader in the study of the ancient near east, and in particular the field of Egyptology, in which he is a noted historiographer, epigrapher and philologist. He is the author and editor of several major books and many articles on the study of ancient Egypt and is probably best known for his historical work on the reign of Hatshepsut and the Amarna period. His most recent monograph, Faces in Clay: Technique, Imagery, and Allusion in a Corpus of Ceramic Sculpture from Ancient Egypt (2002), examines artisanal craftsmanship in light of material culture, iconography, and religious texts. In 2007, he and Betsy M. Bryan of The Johns Hopkins University came out with an edited volume titled Sacred Space and Sacred Function in Ancient Thebes.
An accomplished academic leader and administrator, since 2002 he has chaired with great success the distinguished Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at one of the world's top research universities, the University of Chicago. Prior to that, he spent nine years (1988-1997) heading the epigraphic efforts at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt. From 1977 to 1988, he worked in curatorial positions in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
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