Charles Watson completes a report outlining the vision for AUC


  AUC was officially incorporated in Washington, DC


- The first 142 students begin classes equivalent to the final two years of high school
- Student Union formed


  First commencement


- New York State Board of Regents recognizes AUC degrees as equivalent to junior college degrees
- The Division of Extension (forerunner to the School of Continuing Education) established
- First campus newspaper, AUC Review, issued


 Old Boys Club created for alumni


AUC offers four years of secondary school and four of college


- First university-level bachelor’s degrees awarded to three students
- AUC welcomes its first female student Eva Habib el-Masri


- Hill family starts AUC’s first endowment fund with $450,000


- Old Boys Club develops into Alumni Association
- Gillespie family donates $65,000 to build Oriental Hall


Om Kalthum performs in Ewart Hall

Late 1930s

Campus Caravan replaces AUC Review


King Abdullah of Jordan visits AUC 


AUC hosts special concerts in Ewart Hall for allied soldiers in Egypt


AUC students petition the Ministry of War to allow an instructor to teach them military formations, which soon replaced acrobatics and team sports


Watson decorated by King Farouk: High Decoration of the Order of Ismail — the first time this honor had been conferred on an American


First graduate degree awarded


Last preparatory class graduates, making AUC strictly a university-level institution


Helen Keller visits AUC  


- Hill House formally dedicated as the first student dormitory on campus
- Social Research Center created


Late Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdul Nasser and Mohammed Naguib attend AUC’s Arabic Language Day Convocation


- English Language Institute opens
- The School of Oriental Studies becomes the Center for Arabic Studies
- AUC obtains Creswell Collection


Hill House rededicated as a library


AUC Press established


AUC’s name changes from “at” Cairo to “in” Cairo


- Buildings purchased from the Greek community
- Falaki building was built for use as a student dormitory


Science Building construction completed


- Center for Arabic Study Abroad opens
- Government sequesters AUC until 1975



AUC Press obtains exclusive English-language rights to the works of Naguib Mahfouz


- Ministry of Higher Education recognizes all but three AUC degrees as equivalent to those offered by Egyptian universities
- Sports program wins representation in the National Universities Sports Union


- Egyptian government relinquishes control of the AUC
- Protocol issued between AUC’s Board of Trustees and the Egyptian government


AUC Press publishes the first Naguib Mahfouz novel in English


Desert Development Center approved


- New Greek Campus library completed
- AUC receives the largest single donation ($5,500,000) from Yousef Jameel ’68
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants AUC full accreditation


Opening of Egypt’s first university bookstore


The first history of AUC is documented in The American University in Cairo, 1919 -1987, written by Lawrence R. Murphy, a former AUC faculty member


- Mahfouz wins Nobel Prize. AUC Press was already his English-language publisher (with nine of his novels in print) and worldwide agent
- Last undergraduate commencement (February) in Ewart Hall
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirms AUC’s accreditation until 2008


- Abdul Latif Jameel Building for Middle East Management Studies inaugurated
- Core Curriculum introduced
- Model United Nations starts –– first in the Middle East
- AUC simulates Earth Day and Environmental Action


Model Arab League starts


AUC opens Zamalek building


Rare books library inaugurated


- Noam Chomsky speaks at AUC
- University Senate established
- AUC is one of only three universities in the Middle East to receive a Sasakawa Peace Foundation grant


- AUC celebrates 75th anniversary
- New mission statement


- Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammed Tantawi and Pope Shenouda III speak at AUC
- AUC Professor Kent Weeks rediscovers KV5 in Valley of the Kings


AUC Press establishes Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature


AUC purchases land in New Cairo


- The US First Lady Hillary Clinton speaks in Ewart Hall
- AUC becomes the first University outside US to receive accreditation from Computer Science Accreditation Board


Queen Rania Al Abdullah ’91 visits AUC. Distinguished guests in the first years of the century included Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Condoleezza Rice, and Nobel laureates Ahmed Zewail and Mohamed ElBaradei


- New Cairo Campus design was completed and the cornerstone was laid by Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak ’77, ’82
- Egyptian Chair in Coptic Heritage established –– the only such program in Egypt


- AUC establishes Leadership for Education and Development program
- AUC signs construction contract for New Cairo Campus


Volunteers in Action student club holds first wedding for orphan brides on campus (continues for 13 years)


AUC Press publishes its 1,000th book


First day of class on the New Cairo Campus


- Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak ’77, ’82 inaugurates the New Cairo Campus
- AUC celebrates 90th anniversary


- PhD program begins
- AUC Press celebrates 50 years
- First visually impaired student graduates from AUC
- AUC launches three schools: School of Business, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and Graduate School of Education
- Principals’ Academy first in the region
- AUC becomes the first University in Egypt to be accredited by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education


- AUC launches The Cairo Review of Global Affairs
- New freedom of expression policy
- Center for Translation Studies launched
- Management Center accredited by Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training


- Undergraduate chemistry program first in the region to be internationally accredited
- Yousef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Fellowship program was established to support 300 global affairs and public policy fellows
- Omar Mohsen scholarship was established in memory of an AUC student who died in Port Said attacks
- First TEDxAUC
- Agreement with Student Union ends campus closure
- Graduation of first-class to study entirely on the New Cairo campus
- AUC releases region’s first carbon footprint
- Special Olympics Day on campus for the first time
- AUC hosts Terry Fox Run for the first time to raise funds for the cancer hospital


- Academy of Liberal Arts and Academic Advising Center launched
- Freshman program revamped
- AUC establishes career centers in national universities
- Eduniversal ranks master’s programs top in Africa
- Model United Nations celebrates 25th anniversary
- Greek Campus home to Egypt’s first downtown technology park
- D-Kimia, Egypt’s first University spinoff, markets affordable hepatitis C tests
- Partnership between AUC and MIT Enterprise Forum
- Faculty housing first in Egypt to embed green design, green roof
- Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment replaces Desert Development Center
- Graduation of first nanotechnology master's students


- First PhD student graduates
- Triple-crown accreditation for School of Business –– earned by 1% of business schools worldwide
- AUC Venture Lab launched as Egypt’s first University incubator, ranked by UBI Global among the top in the region
- AUC pioneers free online courses in Arabic (MOOCs) with Edraak
- AUC ranked top green campus in Africa, top third worldwide in GreenMetric Ranking (continues for two consecutive years)
- First AUC Community Day celebrates campus unity, unveils eagle mascot
- AUC portal lights up in blue for World Autism Day
- Architecture program first in the region to receive international accreditation
- AUC’s strategic plan completed
- AUC faculty join Egypt’s Presidential Specialized Council for Education and Scientific Research
- AUC tops QS World University Rankings in Egypt
- The School of Continuing Education celebrates 90 years


- AUC only college outside North America in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges (continues for four years)
- AUC partners with the Ministry of Justice to train judges, and enhance legal education
- AUC partners with Magdi Yacoub Foundation on cardiac research
- AUC launches the first co-curricular transcript in the region
- The highest number of applicants in AUC’s history; selectivity rate for incoming students among the top 100 universities in the United States; yield higher than Harvard’s
- AUC third outside US to receive NASPAA accreditation for public policy, and public administration master’s CASA returns to AUC
- AUC featured in UN’s Greening Universities Toolkit as a global exemplar of sustainability
- QS Rankings place AUC among the top universities worldwide
- Neighborhood Initiative launched
- Shift to need-based financial aid


- First graphic design graduates
- AUC first University outside of US to host the Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute in Cairo
- Egypt hosts first national Global Hybrid Electric Challenge
- AUC hosts the first community psychology conference in the Middle East and North Africa
- First AUC research day
- For the third year in a row, QS ranks AUC top University in Egypt and fifth in the Arab region
- Four AUC students and one alumna compete in Rio 2016 Olympics
- AUC’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library receives donations of more than 5,000 books in several languages from the private library of the late Egyptian journalist Mostafa Amin
- AUC athletes win 20 gold medals, and break the national record at an international tournament in Beirut
- The first batch of Al Ghurair STEM Scholars join AUC
- First graduate of educational leadership master’s


- AUC first University in the region to offer a blended degree, pairing with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
- AUC Press receives international recognition for three of its titles at the PROSE Awards
- AUC partners with Udacity on blended learning
- AUC first in the region to host LafargeHolcim Sustainable Architecture Competition
- 2016 QS World University Rankings place AUC as the 365th best university globally
- AUC was named by the Middle East Strategy Task Force as one of few American universities in the Middle East that are potential “hubs of excellence”
- AUC was named among 15 breathtaking campuses around the world
- HUSSLab launched
- First AUC research week
- AUC first University in the Arab region to house its own FabLab
- Eduniversal ranks 10 AUC graduate programs among the top in Africa
- AUC takes initiative to transfer nearly 5,000 Islamic, Coptic, Pharaonic, Greek and
- Roman antiquities to the protection of the Egyptian government. AUC had been in legal possession of these antiquities since the 1960s, ensuring their preservation
- AUC's Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy first worldwide to receive triple crown accreditation in the field of public affairs education
- AUC was selected to host NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition for the first time in the MENA region
- AUC's School of Business is ranked by Eduniversal as the top in Africa and is the first business school in the Middle East and Africa to join The Global Alliance in Management Education
- AUC/Cairo International Model United Nations delegation takes home six of seven awards in the Security Council simulation at Egypt's first World Youth Forum
- AUC's Career Center launches USAID-funded University Centers for Career Development program


- Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirms AUC’s accreditation through the 2026-2027 academic year
- Tobacco-Free Community Policy launched
- AUC launches Arts, Community Outreach and Campus Animation program
- First university cashless program in the region, AUC Coin
- AUC’s Department of Accounting is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the United Kingdom
- For the ninth year in a row, Cairo International Model United Nations receives Outstanding Delegation awards at the National Model United Nations conference in New York
- Cairo International Model Arab League sole representative of Egyptian and Middle Eastern Universities at National University Model Arab League in Washington, DC, winning nine awards
- CASA celebrates its 50th anniversary
- AUC's Master of Arts in television and digital journalism is fully accredited by Egypt's Supreme Council of Universities
- UK universities visit AUC to learn about its International Branch Campuses model
- First AUC graduate of Al Ghurair STEM Scholars Program
- AUC was named on the Forbes list of top US colleges overseas
- AUC's actuarial science and biology programs receive first-time accreditation by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET
- AUC signs agreement with Naguib Sawiris to establish and renovate Tahrir Cultural Center in AUC Tahrir Square
- AUC partners with King's College London and Harvard University
- AUC's student government only representative from the region at the American Student Government Association's international conference in Washington, DC
- Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology launched
- AUC appoints the first general counsel and chief compliance officer
- Centennial coin designed by students, minted by the Egyptian government
- New Cairo campus is 10 years old


Old history

AUC Throughout History

From AUC’s first president Charles Watson in 1919 to former President Christopher Thoron (1969 – 1973), who established the University as a creditable institution by securing official recognition for academic degrees, AUC looks back through its presidential history and major accomplishments that led the University to thrive as Egypt’s global university. With AUC reaching a second century in 2019, AUC’s new President Francis Ricciardone is leading the University’s mission of education and service in Egypt.

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