Universities: The Meeting of West and Near East

Next to Coca-Cola, probably the most notable U.S. presence in the Middle East is a Lebanese university founded by an American Presbyterian minister. Last week, on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean, the American University of Beirut began its centennial year by inaugurating Samuel Kirkwood, a former Harvard medical professor and public health commissioner of Massachusetts, as its new president. Later, Harvard's President Nathan Pusey and President Emeritus James Conant will join the year-long celebration as A.U.B. moves ahead on what Kirkwood sees as its main mission: "To provide a Western education without alienating the student from his Middle Eastern...

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