Established in 1969 in the Negev Desert, Ben Gurion University is the only university established by an act of Knesset. In honor of Israel's first prime minister, it is dedicated to the fulfillment of his prophetic vision: to develop the Negev and make Israel a light unto the nations. Founded in 1972, AABGU is a not-for-profit corporation that has helped turn a dream in the desert into a world-class center for research and education. By raising funds here in the United States to support Ben Gurion University, AABGU has played a pivotal role in the university's development. The American Associates enjoy a special, close involvement with the staff, students, and work of the university. AABGU prides itself on its efficiency and effectiveness in providing the university with funds for scholarships, buildings, Professorial Chairs, Career Development Chairs, and fellowships.