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Commemorative Centennial Coin

February 6, 2019

The Egyptian government has minted AUC’s centennial coin, designed by five AUC students. This accomplishment was the culmination of a summer of work, research and brainstorming for graphic design students Ahmad Khalil, Ingy Fawzy, Lana Kurdi, Mariam Ibrahim and Mariem Abutaleb. Aiming to highlight the impact of the University’s architecture on AUCians past and present, the minting of the coin finally made the group’s vision a reality.

To create a coin for AUC’s centennial, the five students took part in a mentored workshop supervised by Nagla Samir, associate professor in the Department of the Arts and co-chair of the Materials and Collateral Taskforce for the centennial, and Ghalia ElSrakbi, instructor in the Department of the Arts. “They are the dream team,” Samir exclaimed. “Ahmad and Mariam are seniors, Lana and Ingy are juniors and Mariem is a sophomore, so the team brought three-generation perspectives to the design.”

The team conducted extensive research before beginning the design process. Over the summer, they administered an online survey to determine what the campus meant to old and new AUCians. They then held multiple focus groups, narrowing down their designs until the two finalists were shown to President Francis Ricciardone. The final selection embodied what AUCians had expressed in the survey: that everyone related to AUC’s architecture, specifically its idiosyncratic arches and portals. We worked throughout the summer, mainly on research. We went to the library and the archives, and this is where the design stemmed from. We wanted to base our design on AUC’s architecture, so we looked at books about that and studied photos of the campus.

For the students, it was very important that the coin would resonate with the AUC community. “This wasn’t just a theoretical project; it was something that was going to be made,” said Ibrahim, another student designer. “Your eyes and your professor’s eyes are not the only ones that will see this.

Explaining what he hopes people would envision when they look at the coin, Khalil noted, “I hope they get a feel of the heritage of this institution and realize that’s it’s been there for a very long time.”