On Friday 24 November 2017, Bethlehem University held a Gala Dinner to raise funds for a new building to be called the John Patrick Cardinal Foley Hall.
The event, sponsored by the Bank of Palestine, was held at Nissan Hall in Bethlehem and attended by a number of Palestinian business people and officials, in addition to faculty and staff of Bethlehem University.
Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Ghassan Handal, Chair of the Biology Department, welcomed the guests and thanked them for being the extended family of Bethlehem University.
In his opening speech, Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray FSC, EdD stressed Bethlehem University’s mission of providing quality higher education to the students who will be the backbone of the future Palestinian state. He continued that this event is part of the university’s efforts to connect with the Palestinian community.
“Throughout the past 44 years, efforts were made to connect with the local community as well as with the international community not only to seek their support but also to ensure Bethlehem University meets the needs of the communities it serves in terms of our three main goals, namely teaching, research and service to the community,” he said, adding that the presence of so many people in this event reflects the interest of the local community in supporting Bethlehem University.
The Vice Chancellor expressed hope that the “new building will take the nursing program to a much higher level in terms of learning and practice, while also providing extended health services to the local community”.
On her part, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Mrs. Mariam Awad, expressed gratitude to the Bank of Palestine for their contribution in sponsoring the event.
“We are very grateful to the Bank of Palestine for their generous support for tonight’s event. We are specifically proud that all Bank of Palestine branches in Bethlehem are staffed with Bethlehem University Graduates.”
Mrs. Awad outlined the history of the faculty and spoke of its future plans in utilizing this new building. She stressed that the Faculty attempts to be up-to-date with the latest developments in health systems.
One of the Nursing students, Paola Al-Baya’, expressed gratitude to the university for this important step in building this state-of-the -art facility.
This year, the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences interviewed 1126 applicants, but was only able to accept 191 students due to the lack of facilities and space. The new building will have a range of facilities including teaching and seminar rooms, laboratories, and will also house the Samir Aweidah Clinical Simulation Center, the first of its kind in Palestine.