AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

Anecdotes of the Founding Fathers

In the narrow streets and bustling markets of late 19th-century Beirut, where tradition and progress intertwined, these founding fathers envisioned an institution that would become a beacon of learning, a crucible for ideas, and a catalyst for societal transformation. Their anecdotes unfold as a tapestry of determination, resilience, and intellectual daring.

Against the challenges of the time, these pioneers, inspired by enlightenment ideals, looked to set an oasis of education that transcended political, religious, and social boundaries. Their stories are woven into the fabric of a rapidly evolving city, where the echoes of their ambitions reverberated through the cobbled streets and resonated in the minds of those who dared to dream.

Through these anecdotes, we glimpse into the moments of triumph and tribulation, the heated debates, the humor they reflected and enthusiastic discussions that marked the birth of this educational institution. These anecdotes shed light on the personalities, the struggles, and the shared vision that bound these trailblazers together in their quest to build an institution that would stand the test of time.

As we delve into the anecdotes of the founding fathers of this university in late 19th-century Beirut, we uncover not only the history of an educational institution but also the broader narrative of a society at the crossroads of tradition and progress. These anecdotes illuminate the path paved by these visionaries, guiding generations to come in the pursuit of knowledge, enlightenment, and the enduring legacy of a university born in the heart of Beirut.

These anecdotes reveal the way the founding fathers moved around the country on horses and mules pre usage of horse carriages you can discover the sense of humor Van Dyck had, or the way George Post handled the rats’ problem in Post Hall grounds, or the reaction of Van Dyck to a parent’s argument about the College high tuition when he encouraged the parent of a prospective student to buy a donkey with the tuition thus having two donkeys instead of one, indicating that the boy will be the other one, etc.