Founders' Day: AUB Celebrates 135th Anniversary
For the forth year in a Row: Summer Program For Children of Alumni
FEA Building Dedicated to Raymond Ghosn (1921-1976)
Tuesday, February 17, 1976. The war in Lebanon was less than one year old but already life in Beirut had changed drastically. There were sandbags, gunmen and frequent power cuts. And, of course, the staccato sound of machine guns and the long fearsome whistles of heavy artillery shells.
In the midst of this confusion, AUB was steadfastly pursuing its mission, a lone voice of reason in a place gone mad. But on that far-away Tuesday, madness did not spare AUB. Dean of FEA Raymond Ghosn was assassinated as he entered the Bechtel building.
Raymond Ghosn has not been forgotten. In his memory, the Raymond S. Ghosn Building, three floors with some 1,200 square meters of floor area, accommodates electric power laboratories, computing facilities, and faculty offices.
dedication ceremony on October 31, 2001, was held in front of the Raymond
Ghosn building, near the Bechtel Building where Dean Ghosn fell. Attending
were MP Bahia Hariri representing the Prime Minister, former Syrian
Premier Abdur-Raouf Al-Kasem, US Ambassador Vincent Battle and USAID
officer John Breslar.
John Waterbury, Trustee Ali Ghandour, vice presidents, deans and a number
of FEA alumni and friends were present. The ceremony began with the
national anthem, followed by the Alma Mater.
FEA Dean Ibrahim Hajj spoke first. He said the dedication of the Raymond S. Ghosn building marks the close of construction work, which started in May 1998 when Prime Minister Hariri laid the cornerstone of the building.
Dean Hajj said the ceremony also marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. Since its founding in 1951 more than 5,600 professionals have graduated with bachelor's or master's degrees. Many of these have achieved prominence as high government officials and chief executives of important engineering and non-engineering organizations. They also include successful entrepreneurs, professionals, researchers, and academics in the Arab world and the USA.
Mp Bahia Hariri unveiling the Raymond Ghosn Building dedicated plate as President Waterbury applauds.
the faculty offers six bachelor's degree programs and has more than
100 faculty members, approximately half of whom are in full time professional
rank. This year's enrollment numbers over 1,200 undergraduates and 150
graduate students. Dean Hajj pointed out that Dean Ghosn was one of
its founding members and the initiator of its Architectural Engineering
Department. Ghosn taught at the faculty for many years and many of those
present at the ceremony had been his students.
all remember his gentle and caring personality, his honesty and professionalism,
his attention to detail, his insistence on perfectionism, and dedication
to education," Dean Hajj said. He thanked all those who had contributed
toward the construction costs, including USAID/ASHA. He also praised
former FEA Dean Sabah and the committee he established in 1986 to raise
funds for the building.
Dean Hajj then reviewed recent developments at the faculty such as a new restructured curricula in all engineering programs, more design courses, more electives,and more cultural and ethics courses.
After President Waterbury's brief talk asserting that AUB remained loyal to its message of knowledge, even during the most difficult days of the war, he introduced MP Bahia Hariri, head of the parliamentary educational committee and representative of Premier Rafic Hariri.
MP Hariri praised AUB's role in supporting culture and civility in Lebanon. She pointed out that its survival during the
war was an important sign that Lebanon would indeed survive and prosper. She highlighted the importance of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, noting that its establishment sparked an engineering revival in Lebanon and the Arab World. The early engineers at AUB were pioneers, she noted, whose contributions were instrumental to Lebanon's progress. Expressing satisfaction that AUB was honoring Dean Ghosn, she asserted that this is a rightful acknowledgment too of Lebanon and its perennial partnership with AUB.
behalf of Raymond Ghosn's family, Dr. Riad Fouad Saadeh spoke next.
He noted that the Ghosn family had been involved in building design
for 150 years, when Youssef Ghosn helped reconstruct Deir el Qamar and
Beit Eddine, and that more than two dozen alumni and/or teachers of
the Ghosn family have contributed to the history of AUB. Talking about
Raymond Ghosn, he said that he lived a creative life of abundance in
kindness, equity, care for the less fortunate, and honesty.
Dr. Saadeh concluded that Lebanon would know a rehabilitating prosperity within the foreseeable future and AUB would be a catalyst of creative thinking and that AUBites would become citizens without borders.
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