Board of Trustees chair Hanna Nasir awarded AUB honorary doctorate

Professor Hanna Nasir, Birzeit University’s chair of the Board of Trustees and first—and long-time—president, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the American University of Beirut (AUB) at its 135th commencement ceremony on June 9, 2022.

Through AUB’s tradition of awarding honorary degrees, they recognize world-renowned personalities for their lifetime achievements.

As an influential leader, Nasir was awarded the degree in recognition of his role in directing the transition of Birzeit University from a community college to a world-class institution, despite the Israeli occupation’s systematic targeting in its transition, especially through Nasir’s illegal deportation for almost two decades, beginning in 1974.

During the commencement ceremony, Nasir’s speech emphasized the impact of what was formerly Birzeit College and that the initiative to develop it into a university inspired other local higher-education institutions to do the same. This was done under the mission to support Palestinian steadfastness on their land despite Israeli occupation and apartheid regime.

Nasir stressed that Birzeit University will always remain a place of academic excellence, highlighting the university’s journey and successes, and the faculty and student commitment to continue the academic mission in defiance of Israeli military raids to the campus, arbitrary arrests of students and other forms of aggression.

Nasir is an AUB alumnus, who, in the 1960s, completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics.