May 05, 2009Contact: Doaa Farag
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AUC Celebrates its First Alumni Homecoming on AUC's New Cairo Campus
May 5, 2009, Cairo, Egypt – AUC celebrated its first homecoming on the New Cairo Campus, a four-day event that began with a reception for alumni from Egypt and those traveling from countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, France, Belgium, England and the United States. More than 3200 alumni and family members attended the event, where they had the chance to inaugurate the new campus with the lighting of the torch.
Classes were grouped by decade, starting from the 40s to the current graduating class. A torch, carried from one end of Bartlett Plaza to the other was relayed from one alumni representing one group of classes to the next, and was eventually handed to the university’s current Student Union President Mohamed Ali.
The highlights of the weekend’s events were band and dance performances, programs for kids, a raffle, the lighting of the flame and torch relay; and a sports tournament with students, alumni and faculty members held on the new campus sports complex. A gala dinner-dance marked the closing of the celebrations, held in the Moataz Al Alfi Hall accompanied by a live performance by the Riff Band.
During the course of the evening, Distinguished Alumni Awards were distributed to Mervat El Kaffass ’80, president of Nile TV and Karim Ramadan ’88, general manager of Microsoft Egypt, in addition to AUC’s Associate Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Special Advisor to the President Mary Iskander ‘76. Alumni celebrating their 40th reunion were also honored during the gala dinner.
“The most exciting thing was the faces of the alumni when they saw the new campus,” said Iskander. “This was a very special homecoming. It was all about new trends, new traditions.”
“This place is very rejuvenating,” said John Davidson, who graduated from AUC in 1980 with an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. “It is like a fountain of youth,” he added, commenting on the number of young people and children that attended the homecoming. “This is the first time that I traveled to Egypt specifically for an AUC homecoming,” said Davidson who currently lives and works in Paris, France. “Coming to study at AUC was the best decision I ever made,” he added taking a retrospective look at his two years as a student in Cairo.
"It is an amazing and fabulous campus, it makes all AUCians proud," said Ehab Abdou '97, an AUC alumna, founder of Nahdet El Mahrousa NGO and Ana Masry band that performed during the event. This is Abdou's first visit to an alumni reunion and according to him these gatherings show how the AUC alumni benefit their country in different ways. "There are a lot of AUC graduates that are now leading big organizations like UN agencies and are founders of NGOs and all this is because of the community service work that AUC prepares you for in the development field," added Abdou, who was also the president of AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales), a global organization that develops students and recent graduates into leaders by participating in an international exchange program.
Lobna Kaid '86 has been keen to attend past alumni gatherings and is very impressed with this year's alumni reunion and the new campus. "The old campus has the smell of the old times, but now it was about time that AUC moves to this great campus to accommodate the large number of students to offer them more opportunities and more facilities."
The American University in Cairo (AUC) was founded 90 years ago and is major contributor to the social, political and cultural life of the Arab Region. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions, and study abroad programs. An independent, nonprofit, apolitical, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.