Education: Where East Is West

In Turkey, a wealthy American tourist, recoiling from the native bread, which was flat as a bathmat, was overjoyed at the sight of crisp, crusted, American-style loaves. He sought out the baker, found he was a Protestant missionary named Cyrus Hamlin. Missionary Hamlin convinced wealthy, grateful Tourist Christopher Robert that the Turks needed education even more than better bread, talked him into endowing the first U.S. college in the Near East.

That was in 1863. Today Istanbul's Robert College, and the seven others in the Near East College Association,† have 40,000 alumni, including...

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