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Deanship of AUB’s oldest faculty named for Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst

March 17, 2021

In June 2020, the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Foundation, Inc. and AUB agreed to establish the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) through a major endowment from the foundation. In September 2020, Dr. Nadia El Cheikh was renewed in her position as dean of FAS and appointed as the first Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

In his message to the AUB community, President Fadlo R. Khuri lauded the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Foundation and Bobst Foundation and AUB Trustee Randa El-Sayed Haffar as “without doubt among AUB’s most loyal, generous, and enduring supporters, having made generous donations across all of AUB to support teaching, research, scholarships, and medical care.”

Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst (1925-2015) graduated from AUB in 1947. She then earned a post-graduate diploma from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and a master’s in public health education from UC Berkeley before traveling to Libya where she worked with the World Health Organization, advising the newly independent government on public health issues, and championing the need for hospitals and nursing programs. In the early 1960s, she was appointed by Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami to be a delegate to the UN General Assembly. It was in New York that she met her late husband, Elmer Holmes Bobst (1884–1978), chairman and CEO of Hoffman Laroche and Warner Lambert (later bought by Pfizer). Together, they established the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Foundation. They were visionary philanthropists who also supported the America Cancer Society, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Princeton University, and the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Hospital of the Animal Medical Center in New York.

In addition to being a long-time member of AUB’s International Advisory Council, Bobst was also a trustee of New York University, an honorary life member of the American Cancer Society, and on the Board of Overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.