February 25, 2015, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) held its second Community Day yesterday on the New Cairo Campus, bringing together students, faculty, staff and alumni for a single campus event for the spring semester. Organized by a wide range of student organizations, academic schools and offices, the day witnessed a staff service recognition ceremony, performances by AUC students and the AUC Egyptian folklore troupe, school face-off competition, alumni bazaar, AUC show case, history challenge and campus conversation. The day also included stops by academic schools, sorting of donations to a local charity through the Community Give Back, a community photograph, raffle prizes, the reveal of the AUC Mascot’s name and ended with a performance by singer and AUC alumnus Mahmoud El Esseily.The event started with a minute of silence “in honor and memory of the Egyptian men who died in Libya last week and in fact in honor and memory of all those who died in all the unconscionable violence that has afflicted the communities we live in,” Lisa Anderson, AUC president told the AUC community, in her opening remarks. “It is a source of solace and comfort that we come together in the face of difficulties like this and a source of celebration that we come together to celebrate the achievements of our community,” she added.
In appreciation of their service to AUC, Anderson awarded 120 members of AUC staff who spent 15 to 40 years at the university. “After 15 years of working at AUC, I am glad I am being awarded. Working with students is what I love most about my job, in addition to the great working environment,” said Marwa Khaled, assistant to the dean of graduate studies, who celebrated her award with her family.
Last year’s first community day witnessed the reveal of the Eagle as the AUC Mascot, through voting open to all AUC members. Once again through voting, the community chose Horus as the Mascot’s name.
The First-Year-Experience (FYE) program has been involved in the organization of the Community Day since the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. In the school face-off competition, organized by FYE, teams from each academic school competed in sports matches and racing competitions. AUC and centers held booths to introduce the school programs and activities through activities. The winners at the competitions and the activities won raffle tickets and entered a draw for a number of prizes.
Hassan Darwish, 21, studying history, believes the Community Day has fulfilled its goal, “the idea is to bring members of the community together, whether staff, faculty or students in one place. It seems everyone is having a good time, so my expectations are met.”
The University Archives organized “Explore AUC History” booth, where members of the community were able to travel in time through AUC history and tested their knowledge of AUC’s past with an interactive quiz. Members of AUC also browsed vintage yearbooks, photographs and viewed films of AUC from 1920s to 1940s through an old-time street Pianola.
Colorful balloons labeled with “I am a donor”, were seen with AUC community members, as students handed them to AUC members who donated back to the university. Members of AUC also gave back to the community at large, by donating clothes through Glow Student Club.
AUC folklore troupe, which won first place in the Egyptian Universities National competition in folklore that was held under the umbrella of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Youth Affairs last year, gave an impressive performance yesterday at the Community Day. The day ended with a great performance by singer Mahmoud Esseily, who celebrated with the community, the university’s second community day.