Over nine hundred students graduated at the American University of Beirut (A.U.B.) on Thursday (30?
SV INTERIOR: graduates filing into university chapel.
SV: principals entering chapel.
SV: graduates waiting to receive diplomas.
SV: graduates shaking hands with one of the principals. (2 shots)
CU: graduate receiving diploma.
SV: parents seated
SV: graduates leaving chapel. (2 shots)
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Background: Over nine hundred students graduated at the American University of Beirut (A.U.B.) on Thursday (30 June) -- the first graduation ceremony for two years. Students who should have received their degrees last year couldn't because of the civil war -- they joined this year's graduation for a double event.
SYNOPSIS: The AUB was founded in 1866 by American missionaries. It's now recognised as one of the leading universities in Middle East, and it attracted students from all over the world. Studying has been affected by Lebanon's 19 months war;
The AUB's interim President Mr. John Cowan told the graduates that if they could deal as reasonably and imaginatively with their future as they had with their future as they had with the previous thousand days, then they would fare very well. Mr. Cowan is to be replaced in August by the newly-appointed President Dr. Harold Hoelscher, who said the University has been very strongly affected by the recent turmoil, and had to be brought back to a fully operational standard to meet the needs of Lebanon and the region.
Since the AUB was founded, 34,000 students from 76 countries have graduated there. Interim President Cowan told this year's graduates their future wasn't going to be easy, with prospects of diminishing resources -- and the pressure of greater numbers clamouring for these resources. He said it wasn't going to be a future for the weak-willed.
A total of 2,699 students registered for the AUB's third session, which has just ended. Of these, one thousand were women and the majority were Arabs and Lebanese. Two-thirds of the students were registered at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dr. Hoelscher says he hopes AUB and Lebanon will continue to develop together.