Centennial Benefit Dinner: President Francis J. Ricciardone



it's a very great pleasure to be with many old friends some new friends I was glad to see ambassador to the United Nations and nominee to Egypt my colleague and friend Jonathan Cohen and his wife here thank you all for joining us on this very historic birthday of AUC and in this very special place as you all know this centennial celebration coincides with our centennial campaign to raise a hundred million dollars for our next century I wanted to speak a bit about the importance of that for a you see that's a very ambitious target for other universities of our size and of our prestige and of our impact it might might be a lesser figure Egypt is an incredibly empirically important country in human history as we see here not just for the past but also for the future wherever humanity is going echip t' is going to be leading a good portion of humanity there egypt is a is the wellspring among the Wellsprings of human civilization on the Nile and the indocin on the in Mesopotamia the Yangtze this is where it all began Egypt remains a vibrant bubbling Fountainhead of creativity in the arts whether from 5,000 years ago 2,000 years ago today and tomorrow we have an artist I'll be introducing in in just a minute we have brother amar here one of Egypt's leading contemporary artists who is a resident here in New York I mention this because a you see itself is pivotally important although we only have five and a half thousand undergraduates and a thousand graduates we produce the the kinds of human talent we nurture when we help develop the kinds of alumni that you've already heard speak this evening Mohammed chef a Rudra Hamid Gaza wali other ministers in this cabinet as in every Egyptian cabinet leaders in business leaders in the arts leaders in entertainment leaders in government Mahmoud Mohideen is with us here who's now at the World Bank a former Minister when I was serving there this is a country that produces leaders for the future and not just of the past and AUC is in their small as we are where small amounts of of generosity and vision can have pivotal importance on the future of Egypt on the region and on our world as the chairman has said my friend and colleague Richard Bartlett we've raised just over 1 million dollars already this evening we do want to try to close the gap toward our hundred million dollar goal in our Centennial campaign so that we can continue to stand as the the beacon of knowledge and learning for Egypt and for its region and a place that brings Americans together to this welcoming stable dynamic safe part of the world as welcoming heart of the Arab world that is a huge part of our role so we've heard from Nicholas Kristof you've seen one of our wonderful faculty members and heard Salima Ikram and our younger alumni we also are very proud of the artists that we nurture and send forth into the world for our dessert tonight we actually have not only an alumna but the daughter of an alumna I believe the granddaughter of an alumna if I'm not mistaken the sister of an alumna Dalia Fareed who is going to help us conclude this evening was very special evening she graduated Dalia Farid graduated from AUC only seven years ago in 2012 and then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London she performed for many of us who were here in in October she's performed around the world has innumerable accolades just most recently sang in Cairo for visiting French president emanuelle McCraw when he came to Cairo I'd like to thank everyone once again remind everyone the envelopes are there on the table if you haven't spotted them our staff are here I wanted to thank not only our trustees and donors and sponsors but also our AUC staff who have really knocked themselves out to put this evening together and make everyone feel welcome here Becky and the others so thank you very much and Dahlia if you are ready we're ready for you thank you very much

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