Trustees Engage in Future Conversation, Centennial Celebrations

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U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and AUC President Francis Ricciardone

The Board of Trustees Cairo meeting on campus last week was packed with a range of activities and events, from AUC’s Centennial Celebration Week and the launch of a strategic look at the future of the campus in the next 100 years to in-depth meetings with faculty and students.  

“Tonight we celebrate on this beautiful plaza — grateful to our founders and satisfied that our ambitions for our 100th anniversary were met,” said Richard Bartlett, chairman of the Board of Trustees, during Centennial Nights. “And as this celebration of our first 100 years comes to an end, we are already planning for our next 100 years.” 

Bartlett added, “At the celebration of our next centennial, I hope that our successors will look back at the AUC community of today and regard it as the wise, generous stewards that our predecessors were. The future of AUC is bright if we remain true to our values and all recognize the problems and the obligations that come with the privilege of being part of it. As a community, let us join together in the service of that mission. Mabrouk AUC.”

Wrapping up AUC’s 100th anniversary yearlong celebration on the New Cairo campus, board members attended various events. As the University enters its second century, the board was also here for the launch of a long-range strategic planning exercise to look at the future of AUC our home in New Cairo. Trustees participated in the University-wide “Campus Conversation: AUC Next 100,” engaging in AUC community discussions with international architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB), who will be guiding the University through this master planning process. The trustees also attended a meeting with faculty and student members of the Campus Planning Steering Committee and BBB. 

“After quite a rigorous and deliberate selection process, we've selected BBB for their extensive experience planning campus expansions with universities in the United States and around the world,” said AUC President Francis Ricciardone during Campus Conversation. “BBB will help us determine how best to utilize our entire campus … making sure we're using what space we've got to the optimal level. We will be prioritizing future building projects to shape and advance our educational mission and the experience of AUC students, faculty and staff as we live and work together on this campus.”

Ricciardone added, “What we’re about today is not to reveal to you ‘the plan.’ It is instead to begin a process, a conversation, where together we plan to develop.”  

Trustees regularly use their annual Cairo meeting to directly interact with different constituencies on campus. They visited the Student Lounge, had lunch with students on campus and dinner with faculty in their homes, and attended a panel on faculty research at AUC. They attended an interactive session with chairs of academic departments on the future of AUC. 

Off campus, AUC trustees met with Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and engaged in conversation on the country’s economic outlook with Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait. 

“As we step into AUC’s second century, we not only celebrate our past achievements, but we look forward to the next 100 years, reaffirming our commitment to serving Egypt,” said Ricciardone. “AUC continues to graduate students who are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to advance the development and economic prosperity of their country. We appreciate the vision Minister of Finance Dr. Mohammed Maait shared with us. We remain keen to take part in Egypt’s bold plans for development and economic growth.”

The trustees also met with representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce. 

Distinguished for their professional accomplishments in the areas of business, law, education, diplomacy, philanthropy and scholarship, AUC’s trustees are all volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to supporting the University. Coming from the United States, Egypt and elsewhere in the region, the trustees include Nobel laureates, ambassadors, corporate CEOs, philanthropists and university professors. The trustees do not receive a salary or compensation. They provide financial support and volunteer their time and expertise to the University.