From award-winning achievements and international speakers to online instruction and pandemic plans, we look back at the main highlights of the year.

Taking the Lead Online

Responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic, AUC pioneered the shift to online instruction for its spring and summer classes in 2020.

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Pandemic Plans

In addition to taking strict precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and intensifying IT preparations to adopt online classes during the pandemic, AUC initiated a series of virtual Campus Conversations, the President’s Operational Excellence Initiative, and the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Research and Innovation Initiative.

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Elsevier 2019 Scopus Researcher Awards

Atta Gebril, associate professor of applied linguistics, and Mona Amer ‘98, associate professor of psychology, received the Elsevier 2019 Scopus Researcher Awards.


Excellence in Egyptology

The International Association of Egyptologists awarded Fayza Haikal, professor emerita of Egyptology, an Honorary Membership — the association’s highest accolade — “for a lifetime of brilliant scholarly contributions to Egyptology.” Only four other people have ever been recognized with this honor since the establishment of the association in the early 1970s.



Prestigious Spanish Honor

Ibrahim Awad, professor of practice of global affairs and director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, was awarded with Spain’s Officer Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.


Thomas Bartlett Honored for Lifetime Accomplishments

Former AUC President Thomas Bartlett received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles.


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Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat ‘95 entered a new phase in her mission of public service to Egypt, after serving as minister of tourism for two years.

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Evan Hill (SAB ‘06), journalist on The New York Times Visual Investigations team who was a study-abroad student at AUC, won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, along with fellow staff members.

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Laila Ziko (MSc ‘13, PhD ‘19), adjunct assistant professor of biology, is a winner of the Innovators Under 35 MENA award, presented by MIT Technology Review Arabia and Dubai Future Foundation.

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At the Middle East Studies Association’s annual meeting, Noura Wahby (MPA '13)  received the 2019 Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award for the social sciences for her PhD dissertation from the University of Cambridge.

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Sarah Halawa ‘11, ‘14, PhD candidate in applied sciences at AUC, received the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award for her doctoral dissertation on the genetics and epigenetics of cardiovascular diseases. The research is a joint venture between AUC and the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation.

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Madina Mahmoud ‘12, ‘18 received the 2019 Eni Young African Talents Award from President of Italy Sergio Mattarella for her master's research on desalinating saltwater in order to preserve freshwater sources.

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Egypt’s Tarek Momen ‘11 was crowned the 2019-2020 Men’s World Champion by the Professional Squash Association. Momen is ranked third worldwide.

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Protocol Signing

AUC updated its 1975 protocol with the Egyptian government and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the University to annually allocate 30 full-tuition scholarships to the government for Egyptian public school students who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies at AUC.

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Egyptian Scholars

The United States Agency for International Development awarded AUC the $36 million USAID Scholars Activity, a 10- year cooperative agreement that will fully cover the tuition of 700 students from Egypt’s 27 governorates to study at AUC or one of its partner universities in the country.

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NAQAAE Reaffirms AUC’s National Accreditation

AUC has been reaffirmed for its national accreditation with the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education.

Employment Edge

Out of 500 of the world’s top-ranked universities, AUC is among the top 200 and the highest in Egypt in the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

Sustainability Rising 

AUC moved up in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, placing 132 out of 780 institutions.


Tomorrow’s Leaders

AUC received a Tomorrow’s Leaders grant for graduate students funded by the U.S. Department of State in the amount of $2.5 million. The program will support 19 socioeconomically deserving and geographically diverse applicants to pursue their master’s degrees in one of the following four disciplines: economics, international and comparative education, migration and refugee studies, and nanotechnology.

AUC Press Turns 60

2020 marks the diamond jubilee for AUC Press, celebrating 60 years of success.

Across Borders

AUC’s new Faculty-Led Program brought international students from The George Washington University, DePauw University, Westmont College and Sciences Po to study courses at AUC and explore Egypt firsthand.


Volunteers from the Department of the Arts, the graphic design program and the Office of Sustainability put together a Christmas tree on campus, made entirely of recycled materials. Recycling workers at AUC collected and washed 10,000 empty bottles that have been discarded throughout the University. Volunteers then painted the bottles and arranged them in the shape of a Christmas tree.

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Record Breakers

Fourteen members of AUC’s Cairo International Model United Nations delegation were honored by the secretariat of the National Model United Nations in New York. The team members were rewarded for the position papers they sent in ahead of time before the conference was canceled due to COVID-19. 


Cancer Hospital Award

The Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 awarded AUC’s Anti-Cancer Team in recognition of its “distinguished participation in establishing a Volunteer Day and drawing a smile on the children’s faces.”


National Squash Champs

The AUC women's squash team won first place and the men's team second at the National Universities Tournament.


NASA Winners

AUC hosted the NASA Space Apps Cairo hackathon, where AUC students won first place in the Living in Our Earth category and received one of two nominations for the global competition.


STEM Stars

Amira Mohamed, a graduate student in environmental engineering, and Farida Elharouni ’20, a double major in mechanical engineering and physics, received STEM Star of the Year awards at the Egypt Petroleum Show 2020 Women in Energy conference.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences launched This is Not a Concert series — brainchild of AUC music faculty John Baboukis, Chelsea Green and David Rafferty -- to provide ‘musical comfort food’ during the quarantine.

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AUC held the International Conference on African Challenges, with keynote speaker N’Dri Therese Assie-Lumumba, professor at Cornell University’s Africana Studies & Research Center.

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AUC hosted a panel discussion, “Perspectives on the United States and its Relations with Egypt and the Middle East,” featuring Ambassadors Daniel C. Kurtzer and Frank Wisner, with anchor Lamees Al Hadidi ‘87, ‘90 as the moderator.

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AUC held the International Conference on African Challenges, with N‘Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, professor at Cornell University’s Africana Studies & Research Center, as the keynote speaker

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AUC and the Arab International Women’s Forum hosted the joint conference, Women as Engines of Economic Growth. Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, AIWF founder and chair, was the keynote speaker at the event.

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AUC Theatre’s first production in the Fall 2019 season was Electra, one of the world's greatest tragedies and an inspiration for well-known works like Hamlet.