Former University President, Prime Minister Honored


The UJ administration building has been named after former President of the University of Jordan (UJ) and Jordanian Prime Minister Professor Abdelsalam Al-Majali.
Professor Al-Majali was the guest of honor at the naming and dedication ceremony on Monday, February 19th.
The decision of naming the administration building after Professor Al-Majali was unanimously made by the members of the UJ's Council of Deans. The administration building is now called Professor Abdelsalam Al-Majali Building.
The dedication ceremony featured remarks from UJ President Prof. Azmi Mahafzah. Mahafzah applauded Al-Majali for the immense progress made during Al-Majali's terms as president of UJ.
Mahafzah said that Al-Majali made substantial contributions to the university and had an educational philosophy that was centered on the concepts of interaction, engagement, cooperation and respect.
Director of the Center for Documents, Manuscripts and Bilad al-Sham Studies Prof. Mohmmad-Adnan Al-Bakhit, one of the renowned educators who served in Professor Al-Majali's administration, said that during his terms as president, Prof. Al-Majali launched a series of successful initiatives that enhanced the quality of the University's academic programs and helped establish several major facilities and research centers, including the Water Research Center and Center for Documents and Manuscripts. 
For his part, Al-Majali said he was humbled and grateful for the honor, reflecting on the various milestones in his career and on the establishment of UJ. He also recalled how he bore witness to the emergence of the idea of establishing the first higher education institution in Jordan, UJ.
Professor AL-Majali, who served as the President of the University of Jordan in 1971 - 1976 and 1980 – 1989, then on its board of trustees, was also a professor in the UJ School of Medicine (1971 – 1973).
Later, Al-Majali held several government positions, including Minister of Health, Minister of Education, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Prime Minister during the periods from 1993 to 1995 and from 1997 to 1999.
Professor AL-Majali is the recipient of several appreciation and fellowship certificates from significant institutions such as the American College of Surgeons in 1960, an honorary doctorate from Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey in 1974, the Royal College of Physicians in 1986 and the Islamic Academy of Sciences in 1986.
On February 18, 2014, AL-Majali received an honorary doctorate in administrative sciences from UJ in recognition of his life-time contributions to the University and Jordan.
Al-Majali's connection to the university goes back to 1961 when he became involved in a meeting between a British parliamentary delegation and Field Marshal Habis al-Majali, Jordan's military chief of staff at the time.
The story began towards the end of 1961, when a British Committee undertook a visit to the headquarters of the Jordanian Armed Forces to discuss its needs for arms. The response they received, then, by Field Marshal Habis al-Majali was that “Jordan is not in need of traditional arms and equipment; it is in need of equipping its youth with modern education.”
Subsequently, a British delegation was invited to the Kingdom from October 23 - November 5, 1961 to assess the potential for setting up a university in Jordan. The delegation included the following members:
Sir Douglas Veale, Late Registrar, University of Oxford (Leader),
Dr. W. W. Grave, Master of FitzWilliam House, University of Cambridge, and Professor R. L. Wain, Wye College, University of London.
The delegation's final report expressed the urgent need to establish the first university in Jordan.
The report was submitted to His Majesty the late King Hussein who immediately gave his directives to the Prime Minister to set up a Royal Commission for Educational Affairs (RCEA) and to entrust it with the task of investigating the potential, prospects, and difficulties towards the establishment of the first university in Jordan. Al-Majali was appointed as member in this Royal Committee.
On August 18, 1962, the RCEA came up with a recommendation calling for the immediate need for establishing a university with a view to meeting the ever-increasing demands for higher education in Jordan.
Consequently, His Majesty King Hussein issued a Royal Decree on September 2, 1962, ordaining the establishment of the first ever 4-year higher education institution in Jordan.
Although Jordan currently has 30 public and private universities, the University of Jordan remains the largest university in Jordan and has an enrollment of approximately 42,500 students. Since its founding, UJ has produced more than 200,000 graduates in all fields of study crucial to the development of not only Jordan, but also many Arab countries.
UJ will continue to grow and lead in being a hub for innovation, science and culture, and will continue to endure a pioneering spirit that will propel it towards joining the league of world-renowned universities.