A group of faculty members are sending the below petition objecting to honoring James Wolfensohn at AUB’s upcoming commencement.
If you are an AUB faculty, staff, or student and would like to sign the letter, please send an email message from your AUB email account with the subject line “sign petition” to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body, simply indicate your home faculty (e.g. FHS, FEA, etc) and position (e.g. professor, staff member, student).
As you may know, the American University of Beirut plans to bestow an honorary doctorate on former World Bank president James Wolfensohn during the University’s 142nd commencement scheduled on June 25, 2011. Mr. Wolfensohn has also been scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremony. We believe that honoring Mr. Wolfensohn – a former president of the World Bank, standing member of the international advisory council of the Israel Democracy Institute, and investor in a company (Better Place) that among other activities intends to build infrastructure to serve Israeli settlers in the West Bank– symbolically undermines AUB’s legacy in the struggle for social justice and its historical connection to Beirut, to Palestine and beyond.
In defense of this legacy, we invite you to join us in objecting to Mr. Wolfensohn’s invitation to this year’s commencement and honorary doctorate bestowal by signing below. We also invite you to join us in calling for a more transparent and inclusive process for bestowal of honorary doctorates that respects the values that have most endeared AUB to its local context. The signed letter will be presented to the AUB community and to the general public.
Posted on 09-06-2011