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Launch of BOLDLY AUB Campaign in North America

  • Date: March-23-2017

The American University of Beirut kicked off the North American launch of the largest campaign in its history at the Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room in New York City on Thursday, March 16, 2017. With a target of $650M, BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve will advance the University through ambitious initiatives in education and research, healthcare, entrepreneurship, community impact, and sustainability.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Philip S. Khoury welcomed guests that included diplomats, business leaders, medical professionals, educators, and members of the Board of Trustees. “We lead, through knowledge creation, openness, diversity, and a commitment to sustainability. Now, as we witness continued destabilization in the Middle East, not to mention questions about the future of liberal democracy in Europe and America, we know that AUB has a critical role to play in creating the change we want to see in the world,” he said. Chairman Khoury then introduced the evening’s keynote speaker Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian, who spoke of Lebanon’s unique pluralism and of AUB as a progressive influence with its values of diversity, tolerance, citizenship and service.

AUB’s president Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri gave an inspiring speech on the importance of the institution with its 150-year history of fostering liberal arts values: “AUB is an institution that has always been about relevance, resilience and impact. Supporting, mentoring, advancing and nurturing today, and tomorrow’s best and brightest so that they can change the world, as doctors, engineers, educators, humanists, and yes, political leaders. . . . AUB’s extraordinary past and its dynamic present means that its future success is the best chance for the recovery and re-emergence of this region.”

President Khuri acknowledged a number of leadership partners for their multimillion-dollar gifts to AUB as part of the BOLDLY AUB campaign. He announced the receipt of the single-most generous gift to the University, made possible by Trustee Maroun Semaan and presented by the Semaan Foundation. Designated to endowing and naming AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, this gift will help secure AUB’s place as an educational leader in technology and the modern sciences. “Mr. Semaan and the Foundation have supported student scholarships, PhD fellowships, and innovative research at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, as well as our new plans at the Medical Center,” President Khuri noted.

The President also announced the second largest gift in the University’s history, The Dar Group’s pledge to design a new state-of-the-art AUB Medical Center and develop a campus master plan aligned with a comprehensive academic strategic plan. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, AUB will name two spaces in honor of Dar Al-Handasah: the Children’s Pavilion in the New Medical Center, and a cutting-edge engineering lab at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. In a video message, DAR CEO and AUB Trustee Talal Shair described the University as a beacon of light “that always illuminates our journey in times of darkness.” President Khuri commented on the generational support of the Shair family and the Dar Group that has extended “over almost every aspect of the University’s strategic priorities: academic scholarship and research, student fellowships and financial aid, medicine and patient care, and university capital projects and infrastructure.”

The $650M BOLDLY AUB Campaign includes priorities that encompass the AUBMC 2020 Vision, public health initiatives, new student and academic facilities, increased financial aid to help empower the Arab World’s disenfranchised youth, and community and regional partnerships to strengthen the fabric of civil society. With campaign funds, AUB will revamp its teaching methodologies across all majors to place innovation and entrepreneurship at the core. It will build a state-of-art science complex, and launch an innovation park that will rely on the transformative, community-driven ideas of faculty and students.

While AUB looked back to celebrate its history during its 150th Anniversary in 2016, the BOLDLY AUB Campaign will look ahead in 2017 to the next 150 years by ensuring that the University moves forward to better lead, innovate and serve the communities of Lebanon, the Arab region and the world.


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