RED SEA: Dedicated to the memory of the former president of the American University in Cairo (AUC) John D. Gerhart, who was a lifelong educator and environmentalist, the university recently inaugurated the John D. Gerhart Field Station in El Gouna.
This station will serve as an environmental studies research center while offering a variety of continuing education programs in business studies, English, foreign languages and computer studies. The AUC’s new outreach effort seeks to give residents of El Gouna and the Red Sea area access to a variety of educational programs and resources provided by the university. Combined with its capabilities as a scientific center for biological and environmental research, the field station will serve as a cultural and educational center for this vital region. According to AUC’s President David D. Arnold, “We have worked with countless individuals to honor AUC’s late and widely respected president, John Gerhart. We honor him by bringing his values of environmentalism and high quality education to this vital region of Egypt.
The station was donated by Samih Sawiras, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Orascom Hotels and Development. It includes three public spaces: the conference room, dining room and science laboratory, which is dedicated to environmental studies and emphasizes the field station’s mission as a center for ecological research and conservation. In addition, a dormitory was designed, which reflects a progression of Egyptian, African and Oriental themes.
“I am confident that through this field station, we can give local residents the world class resources they need to succeed in their professional lives and to understand and protect the environment that surrounds them. Arnold said.
In line with the university’s mission and to meet the increased demand for continuing education programs, the new School of Continuing Education will play a vital role in AUC’s efforts to extend its services, resources and expertise to different constituencies in Egypt and the region.