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David Stewart Dodge (1837-1922)

David Stuart Dodge.jpg

Portrait of David Stewart Dodge

(Service to AUB 1866-1921)

American missionary, educator, as well as secretary, treasurer, and president of the Board of Trustees, David Stuart Dodge was born in New York City on September 22, 1837. He graduated from Yale University in 1857 and from the Union Theological Seminary in 1860. Soon after his graduation from the seminary he visited Syria and Palestine with his wife. He was so impressed with the opportunity for service there and decided to devote his life to the service of its people. To put this resolve into action he offered his services to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to work in the Middle East. At that time, the missionaries had decided to establish an institution for higher learning in Beirut. Dr. Dodge joined the College on August 9, 1866, as a professor of modern language for three years. After a brief visit to America, he came again to Beirut and resumed his work at the college.

He was present at all the early meetings of the Board of Trustees, first as a secretary and later as a member of the board. Dr. Dodge was as interested in the intellectual development of the college as in its material upbuilding. Dodge was the first to organize the athletics and to give a class in physical drill. Owing to the many demands on him in America he was never able to stay in Syria, but his services in America contributed to the growth and prosperity of the college. He gave generously when extra expenses were incurred, donated the land for the two athletic fields, and a substantial portion of the Observatory and its equipment. He also donated a whole building, Ada Dodge Memorial Hall, in memory of his only daughter. He became president of the Board of Trustees in 1907 and continued to serve the university till his death on December 15, 1921, in New York.[12]

[12] In Memoriam. David Stuart Dodge. NECA Newsletter, vol. III no. 1, February 1922, (1-2)