March 5, 2014, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) held its first 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 the unveiling of AUC's first mascot, a School Face-off competition, alumni bazaar, AUC Show Case, All-AUC Talent Show, 1919 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, staff service awards and raffle prizes.“This is a chance for all of us across campus to enjoy each other and to celebrate what AUC means to all of us. There are more than 20 student organizations, administrative offices and whole departments and management units that worked together to pull this event together for months and it sure represent the best of AUC and the collective community spirit that brings us together,” said Lisa Anderson, AUC President to the community members, after the reveal of the Eagle, AUC’s first mascot.
Richard Bartlett, the chair of the board of trustees of AUC, also celebrated the Community Day, which happened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first visit to Egypt, accompanying his father, Thomas Bartlett, who was president of AUC from 1963 to 1969.
The First-Year-Experience (FYE) program has been involved in the organization of Community Day since the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester. “From the start, we welcomed with great enthusiasm being part of such an event that will help bring all the AUC community together,” said Mohamed Mossaad, FYE president and architectural engineering senior. “We believe that the project is a good opportunity to strengthen the bond between the different members of the community, as well as increase their sense of belonging to AUC.”
Schools and academic centers also sponsored stops around campus. As community members participated in activities learning more about the university, they won raffle tickets and the lucky ones won prizes by the end of the day. Emily John a freshman, studying economics with a minor in Middle East Studies, believes that the best thing about the AUC Community Day is the reach out of such a day, “It is great for the all members of the community to interact together in such an event.”
The talent show, organized by the student union, introduced the talents of the students and alumni, and was judged by AUC alumni and actors Omar El Saeed and Tarek EL Ebiary.In the School Face-Off, organized by First-Year-Experience Program, teams from each academic school competed in relay races and competitions.
Manar Ayoub, '91, associate director of alumni programs and special events said that several AUC alumni have agreed to sponsor the event because Community Day is depending exclusively on contributions and gifts to ensure that there would be no burden on the budget.
Members of AUC also gave back to the community at large, by donating clothes, toys and canned food in the days leading to the Community Day. In Resala AUC spot, many AUCians shared as well in the sorting out of the donated items and wrapped toys for children in orphanages and underprivileged areas.
Alaa Mostafa, a freshman studying psychology and a member in Resala AUC spent the day encouraging community members to help in sorting the donated items. “What I love about today is how our small community reflects the whole community, and we in Resala took advantage of AUC Community Day to bring out the good in people.”
The event also witnessed honoring long-time serving members of the AUC. Abdel Meseeh Abdallah, who joined AUC in 1945 in the Controller’s Office and who is still serving AUC in the travel office was awarded at the event. Other honorees were Pakinam Askalani, a chemistry professor at AUC, who joined as an undergraduate in 1958 and Shahira El Sawy, dean of Libraries and Learning Technologies, who has over 25 years of experience in leadership, library administrative and management.