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The dream and vision of the university’s first president established the foundation for AUC as it is today.

Charles Watson was born and raised in Cairo, leaving for the United States once he reached adulthood to study at the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University. After teaching in different prestigious universities including Princeton, he spent many years in various positions affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church, first as a pastor and later as secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions. As a college student, Watson had often dreamed of launching an American University in Cairo, and as part of his work, he made separate trips to Cairo in 1912, 1915 and 1917 to evaluate the Egyptian educational system.

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