Malcolm Kerr’s life was, in many respects, the embodiment of the spirit of ACS. His selfless devotion to public service, through the advancement of education, was exemplary and lives on today through the Malcolm Kerr Endowment Fund at ACS. This fund was established in his memory by the alumni association to provide financial aid for high school students who have demonstrated academic, athletic, and/or leadership promise.
Malcolm Kerr ’49, son of American University of Beirut faculty, was born and raised in Beirut. He attended ACS for elementary school, and after a sojourn in the USA due to the outbreak of World War II, returned to ACS for grades 9 and 10. He received his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in 1953, and completed his PhD at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in 1958. He then held various academic positions at multiple educational institutes, including the American University of Beirut, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the American University of Cairo. He also published several books, among them “Lebanon in the Last Years of Feudalism” (1959), “The Arab Cold War” (1965), and “Islamic Reform” (1966). These books, along with his academic career, allowed Malcolm Kerr to establish himself as a preeminent scholar of, and in, the Arab world. These achievements propelled him to the position of President of AUB, where he was tragically assassinated outside his office in College Hall on January 18, 1984. Just as he influenced the region through his drive, devotion, and excellence, so too does ACS hope to propel promising students to greatness through the support of the Malcolm Kerr Endowment Fund.
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