Commencement Flashback: AUC's Earliest Graduation Ceremonies

AUC’s first commencement was held in June 1923. Diplomas were awarded to 20 graduates. The valedictorian at the first commencement was Salah Ed Din Hafiz Awad, who went on to enter Oberlin College in the United States as a junior. The governor of Cairo, rector of Al Azhar and Prince Mohamed Ali attended the ceremony.

In June 1928, the first University-level bachelor’s degrees were awarded to three students: Abdel Kader Namani, Edmund Alexander and Edmund Abdel Noor. All three joined the AUC faculty in September 1928. Namani, a professor of mathematics, went on to become dean of student affairs in the late 1950s. The first three University graduates also established AUC's Alumni Association in 1931.

The first AUC graduate degree was awarded in June 1950 -- a Master of Arts in Arabic language and literature. The degree, offered by the School of Oriental Studies, was only open to people who were proficient in Arabic and held of Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Photo caption: Commencement ceremony at AUC in the 1940s Photos and information courtesy of University Archives