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Known for Being

The first woman to be a president of a University in Lebanon.

The first Lebanese woman to earn a PhD in Physics.

Major Accomplishments

Dr. Salwa Nassar was a Lebanese nuclear physicist and college administrator. She was the first Lebanese woman to earn a PhD in physics, and was also the first woman in the mathematics department at the American University of Beirut (AUB). She completed her doctoral studies at the University of California Berkeley in 1945, where she was the eighth woman (ever) to earn a PhD in physics.

Nassar was named head of the Department of Physics and did research at AUB. Her academic publications include research articles with titles such as "Cascade Showers and Metsotron-Produced Secondaries in Lead" (1962). She was responsible for building AUB's Department of Physics' resources and laboratory equipment, and was a founder of the Lebanese Institute for Scientific Research. Nassar was named the head of the Department of Physics at AUB in 1965, the same year she became the first Lebanese president of the Beirut College for Women.

Nassar died in 1967 at the age of 54, from leukemia caused by repeated exposure to radiation. The Salwa C. Nassar Foundation for Lebanese Studies was named in her memory.

Last modified: 02/11/2019

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