The earliest discussion of the need for a new campus, exclusively built for the purpose of higher education, began just two years after the University was founded in the city center in 1919.

Those discussions were put into motion shortly after the University’s 75th anniversary, with the establishment of the Century Committee in 1994 to begin looking toward AUC’s centennial. Consisting of trustees, faculty, alumni and friends of the University, the committee was charged with recommending guidelines and priorities for AUC’s future development — with particular attention to its educational philosophy and long-term mission.

There was concern among the committee regarding congestion on the Tahrir Square campus due to the fact that some faculty members had to have their offices in rented apartments. In general, there was a need for more space. The consensus was that postponing relocation to some future time might become prohibitively expensive and unaffordable for AUC. It was time to act.

Jehane Ragai ’66, ’68, professor emerita of chemistry, served as the School of Sciences and Engineering representative on the committee. She was also chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education in Egypt and the Middle East, which was tasked — among other things — with determining whether or not AUC’s campus should remain in downtown Cairo or consider moving some or all of its activities to a suburban area in the future. The subcommittee determined there was no further room for growth in its downtown location and recommended relocation. Though the Century Committee “reluctantly” agreed to the principle, Ragai said she is “strongly convinced that it was a timely and wise decision.”

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