AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

AUB 's needs: the effects of the War

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Bayard Dodge Address on the AUB Founders' Day 1941

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB (rescan)

75 th Commencement celebrated in a low Key

The University 75th Anniversary and the Commencement exercises were conducted in a very low key manner, due to the events in the region.

"Fearing the possibility that students from outside Syria and Lebanon might soon be unable to return to their homes and might thus be stranded on the campus as they were in 1914-1918, the administration decided to release these students with credit for the year and permit them to go home. Approximately 650 students were involved. This action was erroneously reported in American papers as wholesale dismissal of students for political agitation."

That They May Have Life; The story of the American University of Beirut 1866-1941. Published by the Trustees of the American University of Beirut: p ix-x






Egyptian Society Members, 1938-1939 Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

 Closing early in May: Special Measures

"A special program was adopted so as to be able to close early in May. When, therefore, the war commenced in Iraq at the beginning of May, the students from outside of the French Mandate were sent home, and no attempt was made to have commencement exercises. Several weeks later, when German airplanes passed through the country and strong protests were made by England, it became so difficult to obtain credits from America and there was so much danger lest frontiers might be closed, that most of the Anglo-Saxon and many of the European professors took their families to Palestine."

Report of the President of the American University of Beirut for the Seventy-Fifth year, 1940-1941: p 16

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Reading Room, College Hall Library, ca. 1940s, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library

A growing University with many needs

"In 1922-1923 the University owned 45 acres and in 1940-1941 the land increased to 67 acres."

"The teaching and administrative staff of the University and International College combined has become a large and well trained group of men and women. In 1922-1923 there were 36 members of the faculty with professional rank and 99 assistants. In 1940-1941 there were 56 professors and 229 others...

A third problem of equal importance is the improvement of the Library. In 1922-1923 there were 23,800 volumes. In 1940-1941 there are 68,372. If Master's work and "Honors" courses are to be developed, the number of books must be increased. More modern fireproof shelves will also be needed, as soon as normal times return."

Report of the President of the American University of Beirut for the Seventy-Fifth year, 1940-1941: p 14-15



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School of Dentistry, ca. 1940

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

A bigger Hospital

Excellent plans for the enlargement and improvement of the University Hospital have already been made by r. Stuart Thompson, the New York architect. The Alumni Association has made available 50,000, which will build the lower stories of a central pavilion and house the X-ray clinic and offices. Further sums will be needed to complete several upper stories, so as to increase the bed capacity and to assure more teaching material for the students.

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Portrait of Jane Van Zandt, 1939

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

Staffing Shortages and Many Faculty and staff retirements

The University faced some staffing shortages due to a great number of Faculty and staff retiring or leaving the country. It also faced the urgent need to develop and enhance the facilities and services of the Hospital. During the past year alone, the following faculty and staff retired: Miss Jane E. Van Zandt, Principal of the School of Nursing, Professor Triantorphyllo Ladakis, Director of the School of Pharmacy , Professor Arthur A. Bacon of the Department of Physics, Dr. Harry G. Dorman, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Professor Boulus Khauli of the Department of Education have come to the retirement age after many years of most devoted work.