Sage Hall was the first building on the Beirut campus. It was designed by renowned architect and engineer Youssef Aftimums in the early 1930s, when LAU was known as American Junior College for Women and enrollment stood at 90 students. The funds for its construction — in the vicinity of $40,000 — were raised by the Women’s Societies of the Presbyterian Church.
The cornerstone was laid on March 2, 1933 by president Frances Irwin and then-staffer Winifred Shannon, in a ceremony presided by the American Presbyterian Mission’s James Nicol.
At the time, the 27,000-square-meter campus was situated in a sparsely developed area of the city. Eighty years on, Sage Hall is surrounded by nine other buildings catering to thousands of students, and the campus is nested within a densely populated urban context.