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A Tale of Two Presidents

American University of Kuwait leader travels to Hanover to meet with Dartmouth-AUK working group

Marina Tolmacheva, president of the American University of Kuwait (AUK), traveled to Hanover recently to meet with President James Wright, Provost Barry Scherr, and members of the Dartmouth-AUK working group. She also spoke at the Dickey Center and met with faculty, students, and administrators.

James Wright and Marina Tolmacheva
The President of the American University of Kuwait (AUK), Marina Tolmacheva, met recently with President James Wright in his office in Parkhurst Hall. Dartmouth provides consultation and expertise to AUK, the first private liberal arts university in the Persian Gulf nation. (Photo by Kawakahi Kaeo Amina '09)

Established in 2003, AUK is the first private liberal arts university in Kuwait. Dartmouth provides expertise and consultation to the new university on a broad spectrum of academic and administrative areas under the terms of a memorandum of understanding administered through the Dickey Center. Dale F. Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, coordinates the various aspects of Dartmouth's relationship with AUK, including programs associated with the Dickey Center, Rassias Foundation, Hood Museum of Art, and the libraries.

Several Dartmouth students have traveled to the Persian Gulf nation as AUK interns, including two members of the Class of 2006 who returned to the Middle East as Fulbright Scholars, and students from Kuwait have visited Dartmouth.

"All of us have gained a new understanding of what it means to build a university literally from the ground up," said Eickelman at an April 2 dinner honoring Tolmacheva. "What our two institutions share is a universal commitment to the principles of inquiry that only the best liberal arts education can provide."

Tolmacheva is an authority on medieval Arab history and Islamic civilization. Her research explores the works of medieval Arab geographers and travelers, ancient Arabic geography and cartography, and pilgrimage and travel in the premodern Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.

By LAUREL STAVIS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08