The Campaign for Excellence
“AUB is on the threshold of a new era of dynamic growth. Our purpose will be no less than to make the University without equal in this part of the world,” says President John Waterbury, about the University’s new fundraising Campaign for Excellence.
The Campaign for Excellence comes on the heels of a two-year academic review of AUB’s strengths and potential, joined with the development of a Master Plan for the campus that will provide new and renovated facilities and an enhanced physical environment to support the University’s academic mission in the decades ahead. At their June meeting, the AUB’s Board of Trustees gave their approval to launch the campaign.
The campaign is designed to provide the funds needed to sustain AUB’s role in the region as an institutional leader committed to excellence in teaching and research. It is building on generous initial commitments of over $60 million from alumni, friends, and trustees. The ultimate goal is $140 million by the date of the University’s 140th anniversary in fiscal year 2006-07.
“This effort will take daring and vision and require strong financial support from all those who care about the future of AUB,” says President Waterbury. “But it offers every member of the AUB family, at all giving levels, an extraordinary opportunity to help shape the future of this University and the region, too.”
Three Ways to Build a Better AUB
he Campaign for Excellence comprises three components:
- $69 million in endowments for student financial aid,
faculty support, and academic programs
- $61 million in capital funds for new buildings and
- $10 million in annual operating funds
Providing financial aid remains one of AUB’s top priorities in order to ensure a diverse, first-rate student body. In the 2002-03 academic year, the University will pledge grants totaling $9.65 million for merit and need-based financial aid, graduate assistantships, and work-study opportunities. In 2001, approximately one third of AUB students received some form of financial assistance, yet this is not enough to ensure
that all qualified students who want to attend AUB can do so. “To be a leader, AUB must be able to enroll the most talented students, many of whom are from families in dire economic straits,” says President Waterbury. The Campaign for Excellence seeks to raise $15 million for endowment to ensure that scholarship support exists for all qualified students in need of funding.
A university is only as good as its faculty. A priority of the campaign is to retain and recruit top academics by creating a lively academic environment that promotes research, supports interdisciplinary efforts, and awards teaching excellence. Provost Peter Heath explains, “The campaign for AUB will do no less than transform our ability to support key faculty research groups and promote areas of high teaching priority. The challenge for AUB is not potential, which is limitless. We must maximize our potential better to serve students, faculty, and the region. This is the goal of the campaign for AUB. It is a goal that we must meet.”
To bolster the AUB faculty, the campaign will create new endowed and visiting professorships. Likewise, the campaign will support interdisciplinary efforts among AUB faculty, including the following programs:
The Energy Research Group, comprising engineering and architecture faculty, emphasizes innovative technology transfer and its integration with social and economic development in Lebanon and the region.
The Center for Advanced Mathematical Sciences is a regional and international cross-disciplinary focal point for scholars specializing in the mathematical sciences, whether in math, physics, engineering, economics, or business.
The Environmental Sciences Program, an interdisciplinary research and teaching collaborative, is committed to paving the road towards the sustainable development of the Middle East with the hope of alleviating poverty in rural areas and inspiring conservation of natural resources.
As a true liberal arts institution, AUB is committed to providing a broad range of curricular choices for students including sciences, humanities, social sciences, economics, and computer science. To provide greater balance in the liberal arts curriculum, AUB plans to re-establish its fine and performing arts program through funds raised in the Campaign for Excellence.
The Campaign for Excellence will make a significant difference in the quality of all these areas—students, faculty, research, and curriculum.
Improvements from the Ground Up
AUB has made facility improvements that enhance the research and teaching environment at AUB, but it desires and intends to do much more. Throughout the University, classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, and engineering workshops will be built, renovated, and modernized in order to meet the needs of AUB’s growing student enrollment, incorporate innovative methods of teaching, and make new technologies accessible.
Although students, faculty, and academic programs are the lifeblood of any institution, what keeps a university moving day-to-day are up-to-date, well-functioning buildings and services. The Campaign for Excellence will make a significant impact in the implementation of the AUB Master Plan for campus facilities.
Enhancing the Quality of Student Life
AUB is one of the few private residential universities in the Middle East, and that is a great advantage in attracting students. The University is making a substantial commitment through the Campaign for Excellence to provide the best possible student experience.
The newly renovated West Hall will reopen this winter and promises to be the focal point of student activities on the upper campus. In addition to becoming the new home for the Student Affairs and Financial Aid Offices, West Hall will include computer facilities, game rooms, a common area, and a 260-seat state-of-the-art theater.
The exciting Charles W. Hostler Student Center will be under construction along the Corniche on the lower campus in fall 2003. This student center is made possible by a generous gift from Ambassador Charles W. Hostler (MA ’55).
The Hostler Center will include an indoor swimming pool, health and fitness facilities, a basketball court, a track and field area, and a 300-seat theater/auditorium. The center will significantly enhance AUB’s extra-curricular and athletic programs.
Student enrollment in the academic year 2001-02 was at an all-time high of 6,200. AUB anticipates a modest rise in those numbers in the years ahead. Additional on-campus housing is vital to accommodate a diverse mix of students hailing from all parts of Lebanon, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the United States. To meet this need, the University plans to build three new, attractive residence halls provided for by the fundraising campaign.
Expanding Academic Facilities
With an increase in student demand for business education, the Campaign for Excellence will support plans to construct a new building located on the Corniche to house the AUB School of Business—the home of AUB’s undergraduate business, MBA, and Executive MBA programs. This structure will include state-of-the-art classrooms, underground parking, and will be easily accessible from both upper campus and the Corniche.
The Campaign for Excellence calls for the construction of a new engineering building with teaching and research laboratories, as well as an engineering and science library for the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.
A number of new initiatives at the AUB Medical Center will be supported by the campaign, including the renovation of the old OPD for private clinics to meet the growing need for high-quality clinic space in a single, centralized location. Plans are underway for a new School of Nursing located on the medical campus that will provide a dynamic new teaching environment for nursing students. It will include a 16-bed class lab that will enable AUB to increase the clinical component of the curriculum. The fundraising campaign will also provide resources for new interdisciplinary medical centers such as a proposed Women’s Health Center and a Center of Neurology and Behavioral Science, funded by alumnus Munir Abu Haidar (BA’49).
Bringing Culture to the Community
As part of its plans to reach out to the Beirut community, AUB will renovate Post Hall and Durrafourd West (a recently acquired building on the Corniche that is adjacent to the campus) to become future homes of its archaeological, natural history, and contemporary art collections. These collections have—in many cases—been neglected and ignored for too long. The Campaign for Excellence will provide facilities that are worthy of the collections while at the same time making these exhibits available to the community. The proposed sites for these museums are conveniently located on the edge of campus, making them easily accessible to the public.
Increasing Involvement of Alumni and Friends
AUB’s friends and alumni have been its most generous supporters throughout its history—from rebuilding College Hall, to establishing scholarships, to donating to the annual fund. The Campaign for Excellence seeks to build upon this fine tradition of philanthropy by increasing the University’s donor base in unrestricted giving for the annual fund and strengthening the endowment for AUB’s future. As a private institution, AUB has flourished for 136 years because of alumni and individual support, and the University anticipates that this core donor base will keep AUB thriving for the future.
The Time is Now
AUB launches this fundraising campaign in the belief that this is a critical time to invest in higher education, Lebanon, and the region. Positive efforts for development in education, health care, and social progress are needed, and AUB has long played a critical role throughout its history in support of peace and growth in the region.
The University urges all alumni, friends, and former faculty and staff to join in as we launch this fundraising campaign that will allow AUB to continue to provide the finest education in the region combined with an extraordinary student experience for many years to come. Whether your contribution is $10, $10,000, or $10,000,000—all will help build a better AUB for the 21st century.
$140 million for 140 years of history. It’s a big number and an impressive goal—but one that befits an institution that has set the standard of higher education for over a century.