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Conclusion: the Way forward: an Ascending University: Build as high as Heaven!


"M. Truman et Attlee annoncent la reddition du Japon"

Le Jour, August 15, 1945

The long war finally ends!

The War ended on August 15, 1945 with the surrender of Japan: the world, and specifically the Middle East would never come to be again what it had been before the war. In the years to come, AUB will continue to transform itself into an ascending and most indispensable regional academic center, providing its graduates, who would go on to staff key positions in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the region, with a stellar liberal arts educaiton, hoping to equip them for a rapidly changing, increasingly complex, and indeed difficult world that  the second half of the twentieth century turned to be.




August 1945: Japan surrenders, and the war ends!

New York Times August 15, 1945

The aftermath of WWII: A changed World!

"At the end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins. Borders were redrawn and homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way. But the massive efforts to rebuild had just begun. When the war began in the late 1930s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the Axis the Allied powers had resulted in 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world. Allied forces now became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the territory they had formerly ruled. Efforts were made to permanently dismantle the war-making abilities of those nations, as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted. War crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and prison sentences. Millions of Germans and Japanese were forcibly expelled from territories they called home. Allied occupations and United Nations decisions led to many long-lasting problems in the future, including the tensions that created East and West Germany, and divergent plans on the Korean Peninsula that led to the creation of North and South Korea and -- the Korean War in 1950. The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine paved the way for Israel to declare its independence in 1948 and marked the start of the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. The growing tensions between Western powers and the Soviet Eastern Bloc developed into the Cold War, and the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons raised the very real specter of an unimaginable World War III if common ground could not be found. World War II was the biggest story of the 20th Century, and its aftermath continues to affect the world profoundly more than 65 years later."


AUB Commencement ceremony, ca. late 40s

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

A New World for AUB 's Graduates!

“The 1946  Graduates will go out  into the world at a time when our Arab Countries are  steadily increasing their  independence,  shaking off  foreign yoke and,  for the first time in centuries, grasping their fate with their own hands.

To be sure to go steadily on the  right  path, men of reliable character, ready   to assume  great responsibilities, are more urgent than men of experience or certain ability. Lack of responsibility is the bane of our life. [...]

It is our  task, Graduates   of  1946,   to  develop in ourselves this sense of  responsibility,   this  readiness to see that our duties are fulfilled thoroughly  and adequa­tely to the end  if  we want our  countries   to  keep pace with the development  of  Western   Civilization  without our losing Eastern spiritual values."

Editors  of Al-Kulliyah Review, student magazine

Al Kulliyah Review, Commencement Number, June  1946, p. 9




"Outpassing ourselves: learning to take risks", Students swimming competition at AUB Beach, ca. 1940s

Dairy Photo Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

If we are to build lands strong enough...

"If we  are to  build lands strong enough to  withstand the  shocks of the centuries, we must search for  materials  far stronger  than anything which now  exists. We need  good  homes, in which the  youth of the  land can be trained for citizenship. We  need honest business conducted  by  merchants, who place the development of their country's  resources ahead  of  personal gain. We need a peasantry intelligent enough to contribute  to  the   national welfare. We need   a spirit of  team  work and a type of patriotism which inspires public service. How  important it is that  graduates of the  University should  do  their best  to  help form materials of  this  sort with which to  build! [...]

You  men  and   women are going out  into a world that is   full   of   tremendous  problems  waiting to  be  solved.  There  is  the   United  Nations Organization, the greatest opportunity and   the  most difficult achievement in  history. There is a newly gained independence,   which may become a  menace or a blessing to  your national life,  depending  upon  how it is  used. There are problems of your own  life,  still to  be  built."

Bayard Dodge Baccalaureate Address June 23, 1946, Al Kulliyah Review, Commencement Issue, June 1946


High jump students sports competition, ca. 1940S

Dairy Photo Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB


Bayard Dodge Farewell  Message to AUB Graduates: "Build as High as Heaven itself!"

"You men  and  women  are  leaving  your  Alma Mater  at a time  of world crisis. Less than  a year  ago the  greatest war  in  history  came   to an end, leaving in its   wake  far-flung  confusion.  While   half  the   people of  the world are dreaming dreams about  freedom and  universal peace, the  other half  are suffering from  undernourishment,  unemployment and   violence.

Even  though  the  political war  has  ended,  there  remains  the   even greater strife against  the   forces  of  evil,  - against  disease, ignorance and exploitation, against corruption and  vice. You are  not  going  out  into a  world of ease  and   sunshine. You will meet  more    often   with    opposi­tion  and  storm. You will  be beset  on all  sides    by   discouragements  and temptations, by crookedness and unkindness.

If the  men  and  women  of your   generation  are   to   build   something better than  their fathers have  known, it will  be a long,   uphill  struggle.

 It will  require courage, unselfishness and   endurance. It will   demand   a heroism no  less  devoted than the  martyrdom of the  soldiers at  the  battle front.

 Bayard Dodge Baccalaureate Address June 23, 1946, Al Kulliyah Review, Commencement Issue, June 1946


Trees on AUB Campus, 1953.jpg

"Build as high as heaven", Bliss Cypress triangle, AUB campus, ca. 1940s,

Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, AUB

We send you  forth from the   University  with  the   affectionate   good wishes of your teachers and  friends. We   send   you  out   to  build  a   new and   better world. Build thoroughly and  solidiy, using    methods as  solid as  the  pyramid. Do  not  build, as Cheops did, for  yourself alone, but  also for  your fellowmen.

Put  not  your trust in  things material,  but    fit   yourselves  as   living stones into a  building that is spiritual. Build    as   high    as   heaven  itself"

Bayard Dodge Baccalaureate Address June 23, 1946, Al Kulliyah Review, Commencement Issue, June 1946