The American University in Bulgaria is sad to announce to death of Edward Bower Laverty, AUBG’s first president. Ed passed away on 01 July 2022.
Ed had a Master of Public Administration (1972) from the University of Maine and received his doctorate (1981) from the State University of New York, Albany. In addition to serving as AUBG’s founding president, Ed served in several leadership positions at the University of Maine as well as on the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission and in local government in Maine.
Ed was a lifelong Mainer—it showed in his thick beard and was sometimes heard in wisps of his Downeast Maine accent. His work in Maine politics on the town and state level, as well as his educational and practical background in public administration, prepared him for his work in Bulgaria and in Washington, D.C. Whether he was working with local officials in Blagoevgrad, members of the Grand National Assembly of Bulgaria, members of the US Congress, or US government agency personnel, Ed’s wisdom and commitment helped him navigate numerous challenges that might have otherwise stalled the effort to create AUBG.
Ed was driven to bring liberal arts education as a new model of education for Bulgaria and to create a US-styled institution that could serve as a model for transitioning institutions in Bulgaria.
After leaving AUBG in the summer of 1992, Ed returned to teach at the University of Maine where he became Emeritus Professor of Public Administration after many years of service there.
At this time 31 years ago, Ed was leading a team of enthusiastic and hardworking people from Maine, Blagoevgrad, and other cities in Bulgaria to create AUBG. His work in those first months included everything from securing the funds to open the university to overseeing AUBG’s establishment as a legal institution in Bulgaria to helping administer SATs to the first incoming class. Nearly everyone who worked with Ed in the spring and summer of 1991 and in the first year of the university remember him to be a tireless and committed leader.
When Ed Laverty first came to Blagoevgrad in mid-1991, AUBG was an idea. Under his leadership, AUBG became a reality.