Bethlehem University dedicated its new building, the John Patrick Cardinal Foley Hall, in a ceremony held on Monday, 6 September 2021.
This new facility was named in honor of His Eminence John Patrick Cardinal Foley, the late Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, who was a great friend of Bethlehem University. It will house the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, providing additional 24 teaching spaces, offices, student lounge, laboratories, advanced simulation rooms, clinics, and meeting rooms.
The Master of Ceremonies, Executive Vice President Rev. Dr. Iyad Twal welcomed the guests and said “Despite all difficulties and challenges, we stand here tonight proud of what we have accomplished. We are strong with our faith in God and our mission, with our love to this sacred homeland, Palestine, and steady with the will of our people.”
Following the Palestinian National Anthem, Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, thanked the donors who contributed to this project. He said “I am very conscious of the many people who have played an integral role in Bethlehem University’s growth and this support is very much appreciated by the people of Palestine.”
“I am proud to be part of this gathering as we dedicate the John Patrick Cardinal Foley Hall. This project further enhances the reputation of the Tarek Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bethlehem University as the leading nursing school in Palestine,” he added.
The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu Mowais, who represented H.E the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, said “this prestigious university has always proven to be special in the field of higher education with the quality of its academic programs and its motivating environment for innovation and excellence.”
Ms. Claudette Habesch, a member of the Equestrian Order, delivered the speech of H.E. Valencia Yvonne Camp, DGCHS, Lieutenant of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy, USA.
“Bethlehem University provides the environment for peace and understanding through the common ground of education – supporting the aspirations, hopes, and goals of students… Let us remember that education is not limited to stone structures or within walls. Education is all around us in everything we do,” she said.
Mr. Abdalqader Husseini, the Chairperson of the Faisal Husseini Foundation, delivered a speech on behalf of Dr. Suad Husseini Juffali.
“I am here today to convey Dr. Juffali’s feelings of love for the homeland and the Palestinian people as we are dedicating a building for a Faculty dear to her heart, the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences,” he said.
“Dr. Juffali’s late son, Tarek Juffali, spent many years of his youth helping young people to overcome drug abuse and addiction, and to help them restore their health and thus their lives,” he concluded.
Mrs. Mariam Awad, Dean of the Tarek Amed Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, said “It is such a great feeling to dedicate this building, a building that will boost our commitment and determination to graduate cohorts with more efficiency, knowledge, and skills.”
Mrs. Awad added “The John Patrick Cardinal Foley Hall will provide our students with high-quality services while adhering to international standards and meeting the needs of the Palestinian community. It will help our faculty keep abreast with both local and international developments. Continued growth and progress in health services rendered to the local Palestinian community have always been a challenge, and we have always strived to provide our students with the best education in order for them to become instrumental for change in Palestine.”
Brother Peter Bray then recognized the donors who made major contributions towards the realization of the project. He handed out plaques of honor to three distinguished donors who were the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Dr. Suad Husseini Juffali, and the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust. He also thanked every single donor, individuals, and organizations, who contributed to this achievement. He appreciated the dedication of everyone who worked on this project including the engineer, consultant, contractor, faculty, and staff.
His Excellency Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See to Jerusalem and Palestine and Chancellor of Bethlehem University, recited a prayer to dedicate and bless the new building. This is the first official ceremony that H.E. Archbishop Yllana attends at Bethlehem University as Chancellor.
The ribbon-cutting followed the dedication prayer and everyone went on a tour of the building.
The event was attended by government officials, dignitaries, diplomats, BU partners, guests, and members of the faculty and staff of Bethlehem University.