Elsa Reckman Kerr and her husband, Stanley Kerr, worked for humanitarian relief organizations in Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon at the end of the first World War through the early 1920s. They are celebrated to this day for their extraordinary efforts on behalf of victims and orphans of the 1915-17 Armenian genocide. They later spent 40 years at AUB where Elsa was dean of women students and Stanley was a professor of biochemistry. Their son, Malcolm Kerr, was AUB president from 1982 until 1984, when he was assassinated on campus.
When Elsa died in 1985, she left $10,000 to establish the Elsa and Stanley Kerr Scholarship to support nursing students at AUB. The fund, which is now valued at almost $70,000, has provided scholarships for dozens of nursing students.