The American University in Cairo (AUC) is celebrating the beginning of its second century by organising a vibrant programme of events at its New Cairo campus from 15 to 19 February.
The president of the university, Francis Joseph Ricciardone told Ahram Online: “AUC’s message from the centennial celebrations is that we are deeply rooted in this country. We are committed to this country for the next 100 years.”
Ricciardone added: “Egypt is great place. It is worthy to invest in its people. We hope other investors will follow in our footsteps in education in particular.”
Riccardone appointed the 12th AUC president 1 July 2016. The AUC Board of Trustees unanimously voted to renew its tenure for a second four-year term starting July 2020.
“We have the freedom to do what we think is right and get support from people who share that vision. AUC has many donors, from individuals and some foundations, and pursues diverse cooperations,” Riccardone continued. He added that AUC stays out of politics and supports the programmes of the Egyptian government in improving the quality of higher education.
Through this year, AUC is focusing on the future and its plans for the next 100 years, under the slogan "Be the Future."
Riccardone stated that AUC's mission is to bring together great minds, and break down the barriers of culture, religion, history and politics that separate people and cause distrust of one another.
“People together from different disciplines and experiences can solve great problems of the world,” he said.
AUC moved 12 years ago from Tahrir Square to its new campus in New Cairo. “We have enough space (in New Cairo) to build for the future. AUC completed phase one, focusing on the architecture of the campus. Now, we are going to tackle phase two.”
Ricciardone will meet Monday with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to discuss government priorities in education.
Ricciardone concluded: “We cannot predict what the future will bring. We must invest in our people and in education. The future is full of opportunities beyond our dreams and full of threats and challenges that lie under our deepest fears.”