(STOP PRESS: In view of his many valuable contributions to the organization
of public activities at AUB, President Waterbury has awarded Nabeel G.
Ashkar the title of Honorary University Marshal.)
A tribute by President John Waterbury to Nabeel Ashkar
It is with deep sorrow that AUB mourns the passing away of one of its
most loyal sons, Nabeel G. Ashkar. Since joining the University's staff
in 1965, Nabeel Ashkar has been our institutional historian, the guardian
of our ceremonies and symbols, a servant of our students and alumni, and
our most affable meeter and greeter. In my personal capacity, I shall
miss Nabeel Ashkar greatly.
He befriended me as soon as I arrived on campus in 1998, and he was always
a reliable source of quiet and unbiased advice. At Commencement, last
June, just after he entered AUH in critical condition, I asked all those
present to pray for his recovery. Alas, our prayers were not answered.
At Opening Ceremony on October 1, I missed seeing Nabeel outside Assembly
Hall where he would always adjust my hood and make sure that I looked
presidential. I hope I did not let him down this year.Nabeel Ashkar believed
in the importance of observing University rituals, symbols, and procedures.
AUB changes with the times, but those symbols and rituals that Nabeel
so carefully protected are our anchor to our glorious past and our guide
toward an equally glorious future. Nabeel Ashkar is probably irreplaceable,
so what he did alone we will now have to do together.
On behalf of all of AUB I express our deepest sympathies to his wife,
Suhaila, his daughter, Alice, and his sons, Sami and Philip.
Nabeel G. Ashkar: His Life
Nabeel G. Ashkar joined the AUB staff in June 1965 as the director of
Alumni Affairs at the Office of Development and Centennial Affairs. During
that time, he worked closely with Nabil Dajani, then the director of Information
and Public Relations. When Dajani took a year off to complete his doctorate,
Ashkar doubled as acting public relations officer. As a member of the
Commencement Committee, he was asked to serve as executive secretary.
Later on, President Harold Hoelscher appointed him Commencement Coordinator.
As Director of Alumni Affairs, Nabeel arranged visits to the Middle East
countries for President Samuel B. Kirkwood to meet with rulers, officials,
and alumni groups. He was the Alumni Liaison Officer, and served for a
number of years as Brazil's representative on the Alumni Council.
In 1970/01, President Kirkwood asked Nabeel to move to the Registrar's
Office to assume the position of Assistant Registrar for Public Relations.
In 1976, when Raymond Ghosn, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture,
and Robert Najemy, dean of Students, were killed, Nabeel was asked to
assume the responsibility at the Office of Student Affairs and the Office
of Bursary Students. Taking over and using the title of Director of Student
Services, he became in charge of student housing, student employment,
scholarships, student activities, and athletics, as well as bursaries.
The following year, when Fawzi Hajj was appointed bursary officer, Nabeel
continued with the Office of Student Affairs, responsible for student
activities, alongside his other responsibilities at the Office of the
Vice President, and was given the title of Director of Student Clubs and
Upon his retirement in 1989, Nabeel was asked by Adnan Iskandar, vice
president for university relations, to remain on a post-retirement part-time
basis, as director of Public Functions. Later, when the position of university
relations was discontinued, Nabeel was asked by Ibrahim Khoury, director
of Information and Public Relations, to join his office as adviser, where
he remained until his final retirement.
While at AUB, Nabeel Ashkar put down in writing the regulations for the
Order of Precedence at University Functions, wrote the text for commencement
exercises at the request of President Hoelscher, prepared guidelines for
the use of university premises for public activities, and prepared a draft
for a general university policy manual. Nabeel was instrumental in having
Professor Arthur Frick design faculty emblems and later designed two emblems
himself. He also designed the AUB ring, and then at the request of President
Hoelscher, designed a set of AUB cuff links.