Festivities, Ceremonies, Banquets, and Much More Promised on Inauguration Day
|Banners around Campus announcing the Inauguration of Peter F. Dorman
Not only will Inauguration Day of May 4, 2009 witness the formal installation of Peter F. Dorman, PhD, as the fifteenth president of the American University of Beirut in a ceremony to be held in the Assembly Hall at noon, but it will also be a full day of celebrations for the entire AUB community.
Preceding the ceremony, an academic procession leaving Bliss Hall at 11:30 am will include a distinguished lineup of AUB Board of Trustees members, AUB faculty, prominent invited guests such as university presidents or their personal delegates, members of the AUB administration, and a flag display of the 69 countries represented in the student body at AUB this spring semester.
“The flag display will promote the international image of AUB. AUB has a well deserved reputation for being a multicultural campus where, truly, East meets West....The flag display celebrates the rich diversity in our student body and asserts the institution’s mission ‘to serve the peoples of the Middle East and beyond’,” said Rania Murr, AUB’s international student coordinator, who is working closely with Paula Kenney, the Inauguration Coordinator, and Paul Meers, director of the University Choir and lecturer in music, to set up rehearsal sessions for the flag bearers—mostly students representing their respective countries.
Alex Abdelnoor, MD, former university chief marshal for ten years, described the plan for the installation ceremony in detail:
“Following the processional, accompanied by music conducted by Dr. Paul Meers and by Dr. Ramzi Sabra on the organ, AUB Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Morris will inaugurate the ceremony in the Assembly Hall.
“The procession’s chief marshal, Professor Samir Makdisi will give another introductory note followed by a word by Hisham Tohme, vice president of the University Student Faculty Council. Representing AUB staff, Gladys Mouro [assistant hospital director for Patient Care Services at AUBMC] will give a welcoming word, followed by speeches by Professor Makhluf Haddadin of chemistry on behalf of the AUB faculty and HE Ambassador Khalil Makkawi on behalf of AUB’s Worldwide Alumni Association (WAAAUB). Following the speeches, the AUB Choir, led by Meers, will perform Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Symphony Cantata. The investiture of the president will be headed by Board Chair Thomas Morris with the handing of the mace to the new president, symbolizing the transfer of authority and responsibility for the University to him. President Dorman’s acceptance speech will follow and the ceremony should end with the singing of the Alma Mater and a recessional,” added Abdelnour.
In recognition of this community-wide event, classes will be suspended from noon to two o’clock and a campus-wide picnic lunch will be served at various upper campus locations, outside Issam Fares Hall, and at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences plaza on lower campus.
Several locations on campus will be designated for closed circuit viewing of the ceremony. “The AUB community will be able to view the ceremony in Issam Fares Hall, in Bathish Auditorium in West Hall, and in the Charles W. Hostler Student Center auditoriums. In addition, a wide screen will be installed in front of the Assembly Hall for general viewing,” said Samer Maamari, vice president for Facilities at the University. He and Jean Abdelnour, director of the Physical Plant, have been working to prepare the campus for the festivities.
“As vice president of Facilities I launched a number of initiatives to beautify the campus and to ensure that the facilities and grounds are in their best condition” for the inauguration. “Also I was given by the president the responsibility to lead and manage the development and production of the approved design for the new mace,” added Maamari.
Jean Abdelnour worked on road asphalting, planting of seasonal flowers, beautifying the buildings facades, and providing logistical support for the food catering of the campus-wide lunch to follow the ceremony. “He is overseeing the installation of canopies in various locations to provide shelter from sun or rain and to provide cover for the food outlets as well as to the serving areas for the