Historical Overview

Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU) was founded in 1987 by the Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary.

NDU first came into being under the name of Louaize Center for Higher Education (LCHE) in 1978. LCHE was a joint venture between Beirut University College (BUC), now Lebanese American University (LAU) and the Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary.

Later, inspired by a deep apostolic concern and guided by the needs of the community, the Order decided to start a new chapter in its history by founding an independent university. The legal finalization of this project was the promulgation by the President of The Lebanese Republic of the decree number 4116 on August 14, 1987, granting the Order the right to operate an independent university. Thus, Notre Dame University - Louaize was born, the only Catholic university adopting the American education system, not only in Lebanon but also in the entire Middle East. Three years later, in June of 1991, the University awarded its first bachelor degree to seventy-two graduates.

Along the lines set by the Vatican II Council, the Order decided to call on prominent persons from the Lebanese society to oversee the operations of the University. Consequently, a Board of Trustees was established to supervise the academic and administrative operations and to help in the planning and development of the University.

In 1990, NDU established an Off Campus Program in North Lebanon, which in 1999 moved to a new campus located in Barsa, Koura, now known as North Lebanon Campus (NLC). The campus lies on a piece of land of 50,000 square meters donated by the village of Barsa. The first building of the Barsa Campus, totaling 10,000 square meters of floor space, was completed in June 1999.

In April 1994, NDU established the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, and on October 5, 1996, the Lebanese Government issued a decree number 9278 granting the official recognition of the programs that lead to the Bachelor of Architecture and the Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

In Spring 2000, NDU established the Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design, and the Faculty of Political Science, Public Administration and Diplomacy. Accordingly, the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture was named the Faculty of Engineering.

After establishing itself as one of the leading universities in Lebanon, NDU’s administration, guided by the needs of the Shouf region and neighboring communities, decided to start a new chapter in its history by founding a new campus in Deir El-Kamar within the Shouf district. The proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees in its meeting of March 8, 2001. The Shouf Campus was officially inaugurated on October 26, 2001.

NDU has recently finished the construction of a new campus in the Kesrwan region which can accommodate 7000 students on a piece of land overlooking the Dog River, with a total area of 250,000 square meters (donated by the Order). The total floor space of the campus amounts to 100,000 square-meters. The foundation stone for the new campus was laid on November 19, 1994.

True to its commitment of carrying out its historic mission, NDU’s community celebrated the University’s 20th Anniversary in 2007. This anniversary has provided a unique opportunity for NDU to reflect on its past and to look forward to the road ahead. In 2008, the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences was estabhlished. NDU had a distinguished past, and today it offers an exciting challenge to all who are connected to it.

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