Making Way for the Future of Engineering.
On March 21, AUB Chairman
of the Board Richard A. Debs announced major gifts to the Campaign
for Excellence from Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) and from
Dr. Ray R. Irani, AUB’s vice chairman of the Board of Trustees
and chairman and chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum
Corporation, that will fund a new on-campus engineering complex.
The new facility will be named “The Ray R. Irani Oxy Engineering
Complex” in honor of Dr. Irani.
Dr. Ibrahim Hajj, AUB dean of the Faculty of Engineering
and Architecture, thanked Dr. Irani and Oxy saying, “These
generous gifts are especially timely, as we have been restructuring
our curricula, introducing new programs, and adding more design
and laboratory courses.”
The new facility will support the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering
and Architecture by accommodating the specialized needs of class
and research labs, classrooms, and faculty offices in a more efficient
and high tech setting. The present engineering laboratories will
be upgraded to meet the rapid technological advances and demands
in the field, as well as the growing number of engineering students.
In commenting on the gifts, Dr. Irani said, “I
am pleased the new complex will provide students and faculty with
new facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It will
ensure that AUB remains the regional leader in engineering education
AUB Board Chairman Debs remarked, “Ray Irani has long been
a strong supporter
of the University as well as an outstanding leader in the scientific
and business communities. I cannot think of a more appropriate person
to honor for these generous gifts, gifts that will greatly enhance
the educational resources of AUB.”
Dr. Irani, who received a BS in chemistry from
AUB in 1953 and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University
of Southern California, has been chairman and chief executive officer
of Occidental Petroleum Corporation since 1990. He held the additional
post of president from 1990 to 1996. Dr. Irani joined the Occidental
organization in June 1983 as chairman and chief executive officer
of Occidental Chemical Corporation, an Occidental Petroleum Corporation
After starting his career as a research scientist, Dr. Irani played
a key role in creating and developing commercially viable products
and processes at Monsanto Company and Diamond Shamrock Corporation
before joining Olin’s Chemicals Group in 1973 as vice president
of research and development. Dr. Irani is a director of the American
Petroleum Institute, Cedars Bank, KB Home, and Lyondell Chemical
Company. He is a member of numerous professional, educational, and
cultural organizations and institutions, including the University
of Southern California where he is a trustee.
On the Path of Excellence .
Campaign Progress Report
In April, President Waterbury gave an update
on AUB’s Campaign for Excellence. Since the campaign was
officially launched on October 1, 2002, President Waterbury noted
that to date AUB has raised $68.9 million in cash and pledges
towards its goal of raising $140 million by AUB’s 140th
anniversary in the 2006-07 academic year.
The Campaign for Excellence will raise funds for
University-wide priorities that include $69 million to endow financial
aid, professorships, and academic centers. Of this $69 million,
$15 million has been earmarked for financial aid, making it the
largest single item in the entire campaign. An additional $61 million
will be spent on building projects, including the Charles W. Hostler
Student Center, a new business school, and laboratory and classroom
renovations. The rest of the funds to be raised are allocated for
the annual fund that helps provide unrestricted and restricted monies
used for a variety of needs, including scholarships, faculty, and
the upkeep of campus.
President Waterbury acknowledged that these are
not the easiest economic times during which to conduct a campaign,
but is especially gratified by the interest and support that many
alumni and friends have expressed for AUB and its programs.