Alumni Activities Worldwide!
Engineering and Architecture Chapter
Over one hundred 1960 to 1966 graduates of the Faculty of Engineering
and Architecture (FEA) gathered on July 30 for a reunion at Al-Sheikh
Hotel in Bhamdoun. The dinner was hosted by Albert Matta (BE ’62),
the hotel’s owner.
Matta, greeting his guests warmly, read a special poem in Arabic
that he had written especially for the occasion. Chapter President
Samir Alamuddin, in welcoming the alumni, urged them all to stay
in contact with the University and the chapter. FEA Dean Ibrahim
N. Hajj thanked Matta for hosting the event and extended congratulations
to Albert Kuraan for being awarded the National Order of Merit,
Chevalier Rank, by French President Jacques Chirac. Dean Hajj, in
noting that the number of FEA students has more than doubled since
his days as a student, said that at present half of the faculty’s
undergraduate students are in electrical and computer engineering
and that almost 30 percent of all FEA students are women. All agreed
that the evening was memorable in every way.
Medical Alumni Chapter
The Medical Alumni Chapter held a grand dinner in honor of the University’s
’03 MD graduates on June 23 at the Phoenicia Intercontinental
Hotel, which was attended by almost 350 AUB alumni, friends, and
faculty members. Among the guests of honor were Lebanese Minister
of State Karam Karam (MD ’67); President of the Order of Physicians
Mahmoud Choucair; Nadim Cortas, vice president for Medical Affairs
and dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Medical Center; and
AUBMC Director John Rhoder.
In welcoming and congratulating the new doctors, Chapter President
Khalid Yunis informed them that, on the occasion, they would receive
the traditional Medical Alumni pin and a complimentary year’s
membership in the chapter. He then introduced one of the new graduates,
Dr. Melhem Solh, who spoke on behalf of the class, expressing their
appreciation for all the support they had received from AUB, and
from their families, in the attainment of their degrees. In the
address that followed, Dr. Cortas extended his best wishes to the
young men and women of medicine and also paid tribute to the two
members of the Department of Internal Medicine who had been chosen
to receive the Medical Alumni Chapter’s awards for 2003. He
then joined President Yunis in presenting the Gold Medal Award to
Dr. Ibrahim Salti, head of the Endocrinology Division, and the Merit
Award to Dr. Adel Birbari, head of the Nephrology Division.
To provide entertainment for the evening, a number of the new doctors
displayed their “non-medical” thespian talents with
comic sketches inspired by some of their former teachers and a "danse
de salon performance,” followed by a brilliant piano recital
of classical music.
Abu Dhabi Branch
On May 15 the AUB Alumni Association of Abu Dhabi celebrated its
annual Gala Dinner at the Abu Dhabi Intercontinental Hotel, drawing
300 loyal AUB alumni and friends. The guest of honor and keynote
speaker this year was Lebanon’s Minister of State Health Karam
In welcoming the large gathering of alumni, the branch’s president,
Mohamad Sleiman, thanked them for their continuous dedicated support
and informed them that their loyalty had helped the Abu Dhabi Branch
raise over $2 million for AUB since 1985.
The gala paid special tribute to the Archives and Special Collections
of Jafet Memorial Library, the treasure of AUB. Mr. Sleiman, in
pointing out that the archives are indeed the memory of the University
and the region, noted that “appreciation of the past is a
prerequisite for the future development of any society.” He
thanked Asma Fathallah, director of the Archives and Special Collections,
for her excellent work and dedication.
Dr. Karam spoke with poetic elegance about AUB and its leading role
in education and development in the Middle East. He then went on
to focus on the important topic of ethics and education in the political
The Abu Dhabi Alumni Association organized a number of activities
for Dr. Karam and the AUB delegation, among them a meeting with
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of education; a lunch
with Lebanese Ambassador Hasan Berro; and a day at the Lebanese
Spring Festival that was held at the Abu Dhabi Officers Club. The
festival was organized by the Lebanese Business Council, whose executive
board includes three AUB alumni: President Albert Matta, Treasurer
Ramzi Keily, and Head of Memberships Sufian Al-Saleh.
On December 8, 2002, the AUB alumni in Syria held their annual fund-raising
gala dinner in the presence of some 250 alumni and friends in Al-Chark
Club (club d’Orient) in Damascus, Syria. AUB President John
Waterbury attended to update alumni on the University. Guests entered
a lively AUB scene where a video on the University was being shown,
drinks were being offered, and a band from the High Institute of
Music was playing music in the lobby.
During the program Syrian branch members Nada Al Assaad and Abdel
Aziz Dahdouch introduced the speakers. Abdul Salam Haikal welcomed
the guests and noted that this was the second fundraising activity
in two years for scholarship support for the endowed fund for Syrian
students enrolled at AUB. The second speaker, Joseph Abdallah, confirmed
the loyalty of our graduates towards their alma mater while Dr.
Abdul Sattar Udday spoke warmly about his memories of AUB and its
role in servicing the region. Dr. Waterbury concluded by discussing
the Campus Master Plan and current projects at AUB.
and Northern Emirates Branch
Dubai alumni have manifested what loyalty and hard work can
produce: a generous donation of $300,000 in a single year
– the largest gift from a branch or chapter to AUB.
They topped the record they set themselves last year by more
Branch President Najar Zaarour and Vice President Yasser El-Hajj
presented the donation to AUB President John Waterbury in
his office at College Hall. Accepting the check, he noted
that the University applauds the efforts of Dubai and Northern
Emirates alumni and friends in providing scholarship aid for
needy and qualified students. The branch decided to dedicate
$200,000 to the Dubai and Northern Emirates Endowment Scholarship
to leverage their gift even further with the one-to-four match
that the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation has established at
AUB. Over the last five years, donations from the branch have
totaled over $1 million.
A fabulous evening was had by all at the Dubai and Northern
Emirates Branch’s Annual Fundraising Ball in May. The
theme of the evening was, You Can Make a Difference, in the
hope of inspiring alumni to make a lasting difference in the
lives of needy and deserving students, thereby changing the
landscape of Lebanon and the region. AUB President John Waterbury
took center stage and shared news of AUB during the program,
which included a special address by Mrs. Nidal Al Achkar.
The ball was a great success for the branch – and built
on earlier events and activities of the 2002-03 year, including
a well-attended Ramadaniyat function, a successful desert
trip, a cultural evening, and an exciting tennis tournament.
AANA’s New Board of Directors
The results are in. Elections for the 2003-04 board of directors
of the Alumni Association of North America, which were held in June,
voted in the following new AANA team: Ara Tekian, who was reelected
president; May Rihani, vice president; Lina Jazi, secretary; Wael
Chehab, treasurer; and members-at-large Roula Tohme Baddoura, Diala
Ezzedinne, John Makhoul, Bassam Zarkout, Rana Hajjeh, Alexander
Geha, and Najwa Mirhij Shammas. Congratulations to all! Thanks go
out to departing members Angie Bahuth, Ghaleb Daouk, and Hikmat
Nasr for their service and commitment to AANA.
Over 70 alumni and friends gathered for a special Mother's Day brunch
on May 11 at the Byblos Lebanese restaurant. Combining a tribute
to mothers with a remembrance of AUB turned the occasion into a
most delectable feast of memories.
In spring 2003, the chapter elected a new slate of officers: Leila
Tarazi, president; Sandra Haddad, vice president; Samia Hazim, secretary;
Hounada Fakhoury, treasurer; and Sahar Attar, Lara Harik, and Iman
Bitar as members-at-large. Congratulations to all.
AUB New York Office Associate Director of Development
– Alumni Affairs Miyada Musharbash visited Arizona alumni
at a dinner hosted by Farid Haddad at his beautiful home in May.
A meeting for Southwest alumni is planned for winter.
In June 2003 the chapter held a festive dinner
for 20 alumni and friends at Trattoria's, an Italian restaurant
in Little Italy. Earlier chapter events during the 2002-03 year
included an October picnic and a February dinner party.
The Endocrine Chapter’s annual meeting
took place in June, when a group of about 20 AUB alumni gathered
for an enjoyable yearly dinner. The chapter hopes that all those
who missed it this year will be able to attend in 2004. At the meeting,
Armand Krikorian was elected the new president of the chapter. Congratulations
to him—and many thanks to outgoing president Mona Nasrallah
for all her great efforts.
The Greater Baltimore Chapter held their annual picnic in conjunction
with the Washington Chapter on June 15, Father’s Day. The
picnic was well attended and enjoyed by all. The chapter’s
next event—a banquet to be held in Baltimore's Inner Harbor
on September 27—will focus on raising funds for AUB. Details
to follow in the next issue of MainGate.
Greater Washington DC Chapter
In July, the Washington Chapter launched its first newsletter, designed
to keep in touch with members and push forward its fundraising goals.
Former Chapter President Hikmat Nasr, in noting that his term in
office is ending, expressed confidence that the new leadership will
take up the reins in expanding the contents and audience of the
newsletter. The chapter’s new executive committee is composed
of Michael Malouf, president; Cathy Feghali, vice president; Tala
Khartabil, secretary; Mandana Fawzi Al-Hajj, treasurer; and members-at-large
Sami Assir, Grace Bishara, and Ramzi Dagher. The new committee is
in the process of organizing events for the year. DC area alumni
interested in getting involved in the chapter’s activities
can contact Michael Malouf at Mwkmalouf@aol.com.
Meanwhile, DC alumni enjoyed outings organized by the chapter this
past summer, such as the Tennis Social in May and the Baltimore-
Washington Annual Picnic in June.
Elections have been held for the newly relaunched Montreal Chapter.
The new committee members are: Donald Edde, president; Mona Ghazzaoui,
vice president; Almaz Aladas, secretary; and Costa Levantian, treasurer.
The committee seeks the active participation of all area alumni.
Anyone interested in joining the chapter or needing information
should call 514-707-1793, or visit the Montreal Chapter website
The chapter kicked of its 2003–04 season with a brunch at
the lovely Chateau Vaudreuil on September 14. Look for details of
future activities in the next issue of MainGate.
New England Chapter
On Sunday, July 20, New England alumni and friends gathered for
a summer picnic jointly sponsored by the chapter and several area
organizations. Word-of-mouth reports indicate that a good time was
had by all.
New York Metropolitan Chapter
AUB Trustee Ann Kerr shared with New York alumni and friends her
recollections and reflections on her life in Beirut and travels
throughout the region at a lecture and signing for her new book,
Painting the Middle East (Syracuse University Press: 2002) on June
18. At a jointly sponsored program with the City University of New
York’s Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMAC),
Kerr discussed her thoughts on the current political situation in
the region as well as the prospects for the future to a crowd of
70 alumni, friends, and New York area academics and persons with
interest in the Middle East. New York Metropolitan Chapter President
Wael Chehab and MEMAC Associate Director and alumnus Anny Bakalian
greeted guests and introduced Kerr. A book signing followed with
a lovely reception full of Middle Eastern treats.
Northern California Chapter
In early May, Miyada Musharbash and Jaime-Faye Bean, associate directors
of development of the AUB New York office, visited with members
of the Northern California Chapter. While in the Bay area, Miyada
and Jaime updated alumni on new developments at AUB, especially
with regard to the efforts being undertaken to expand and strengthen
the University’s communication with its alumni. They also
reported on the various fundraising activities being launched by
AUB alumni chapters elsewhere.
The Northern California Chapter held its annual summer picnic on
June 1 in Cuesta Park in the South Bay area. About 50 AUB alumni
and friends joined in the fun, graced by the blessings of great
food, great friends, and great weather. A highlight of the afternoon
was the chapter’s first tennis tournament. Seven teams competed
in the doubles match, which ended with the winning medals being
presented to Wael Tayara and Khaled Delaware.
For news and information about past or future events, please check
the chapter’s website www.aubalum.org.
The AANA Ottawa Chapter’s annual summer picnic was held on
June 15 in Britannia Park, situated along the beautiful Ottawa River.
The event, intentionally planned to coincide with Father’s
Day, was well attended by chapter members and friends of AUB. Many
of them had taken time from their usual Father’s Day activities
to pass by the picnic and spend a few hours with friends and family.
All fathers were greeted with a warm welcome and a white carnation.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, and watermelon made up the menu for the day—in
addition to Elie Mousalli’s special salmon burgers. Well before
sunset, the chapter took its annual picnic photos to record the
P.S.: An official welcome aboard and best wishes to Elie Mousalli
(BS ‘69; MS ‘72) as secretary of the Ottawa Chapter’s
Southern California Chapter
Alumni and friends in the Los Angeles area gathered on March 23
for a gracious luncheon with AUB Provost Peter Heath and Vice President
for Development and External Relations W. Stephen Jeffrey. In reporting
on the latest news from campus, the two high-level AUB officials
reassured the group that despite the continuing political turmoil
in the Middle East region, the University was “on track”
in pursuing its strategic planning goals.
In May AUB’s Associate Directors of Development Miyada Musharbash
and Jaime Faye-Bean visited with members of the Southern California
Chapter. Among the issues discussed were university activities and
the new chapter elections that are in progress. If any Southern
California alumni are interested in volunteering for activities,
please email email@example.com
Western Virginia Chapter
The Western Virginia Chapter organized a dinner for the area’s
AUBites, which was held in May at the elegant Harbor Club in downtown
Norfolk. Against the backdrop of the club’s stunning views
of the city, everyone enjoyed catching up with each other over cocktails
and during the sumptuous dinner that followed. AUB’s Associate
Director of Development–Major Gifts Rima Zaitoon, in reporting
to the gathered guests on developments at AUB, expressed the University’s
appreciation for their continued support. In his welcoming address,
President Bassam Kawwas thanked Judge Peter Decker, the keynote
speaker, for his support of the chapter’s activities. Judge
Decker, in turn, praised the efforts of the chapter in supporting
such a great institution as AUB. Saying “it is one of the
oldest and most successful educational institutions in the world,”
he urged the attendees to respond to the president’s appeal.
Nearly $5,000 was raised at the dinner—an admirable gesture
of support made by alumni and friends on behalf of the University.
Alumni from around the world
relive good times at the third annual AUB Reunions jamboree.
Jaime-Faye Bean describes it all.
AUBites from around the world gathered on campus from June
25 to 29 to join in communal reunion celebrations for the
classes of 1983, 1988, 1993, and 1998. Hundreds of alumni,
many of them accompanied by their spouses and children, showed
up for the festivities, making this year’s Reunions
the best-attended since the tradition was reestablished in
The activities began Thursday evening, when President John
Waterbury held an open forum to provide the visiting alumni
with information on the University’s $150-million 20-year
Campus Master Plan that is now under way. Speaking to the
standing-room-only crowd gathered in West Hall’s new
Suhail R. Bathish Auditorium, the president accompanied his
presentation with “virtual photographs” of the
major structures slated for construction under the plan—such
as the Charles W. Hostler Student Center and the Suliman S.
Olayan School of Business—and said that the plan also
provides for the addition of three new student dorms, as well
as the renovation of a number of AUB’s existing buildings.
President Waterbury assured the audience, however, that the
unique beauty of the University’s campus would be preserved,
promising that the breathtaking open views of the Mediterranean
from the romantic pathways and benches lining upper campus
would continue to “form the basis of many future marriages.”
Members of the audience were then given the opportunity to
query the president on a number of AUB-related issues, from
the proper handling of building funds and equitable allocation
of contracts to the number of tennis courts that would be
available for alumni use under the master plan. The evening
ended with a dinner held on the lawn of the president’s
residence, Marquand House.
Friday evening, the alumni group gathered at the spectacular
Grand Hills Village in Brumana for a dinner dance affair.
In an Arabic restaurant elaborately decorated with colorful
mosaics and bubbling
fountains, everyone spent a pleasurable “thousand-and-one-nights”
interlude enjoying the dozens of delectable dishes that make
up the traditional Lebanese mezzeh. Some even indulged in
smoking the nargileh (filled, of course, with honey-scented
tobacco). Moving from table to table to say hello, AUB Provost
Peter Heath and members of the Reunions Ad Hoc Committee recognized
many of the alumni. In the words of one who was greeted by
name, “I didn’t expect to be remembered…it
was wonderful!” After dinner, a superb belly dancer
entertained the crowd (with a few of the most outgoing AUBites
joining in to test their own hip-undulating skills!), and
later everyone hit the dance floor themselves to swing or
waltz to the tunes of a live band. The evening ended on a
truly sweet note: a huge cake in the shape and colors of the
AUB logo to be shared by all.
On Saturday, while some of the alumni spent the day recuperating
from Friday night’s festivities, many of them took advantage
of the special rates AUB had secured from local travel agencies
to visit one of the many tourist sites in Lebanon. It also
was a day when the alumni could truly honor the academic legacy
of AUB; reunion attendees were invited to meet with student
representatives for breakfast at West Hall, and later they
could attend the honorary degrees and commencement ceremonies
if they wished.
On Sunday, the final day of Reunions, the hundreds of alumni
and their families went off on buses to AUB’s 274-acre
farm in the Beqa’a, known as the Agricultural Research
and Education Center (AREC), where they joined the students
and faculty in celebrating Family Day. They arrived to the
melodious voice of Fairouz coming through loud and clear on
the DJ’s speakers, and were welcomed with freshly baked
manakeesh, Arabic coffee, and cold soft drinks. The grounds
of the farm were soon filled with the boisterous activity
of children (and adults) flying kites, playing football, riding
bikes, and enjoying hayrides. The more sedentary types whiled
away the time exploring the farm and meeting some of its resident
chickens, sheep, goats, and cows.
For the third year in a row, Reunions participants have been
confirming the global nature of AUB alumni, with guests attending
from Los Angeles to Madrid, from Paris to Abu Dhabi. Elected
officers from a number of alumni chapters were present this
year, including the vice president of AANA, as well as members
of the Engineering, Agriculture, Nursing, Pharmacy, Business
and Medical chapters and the Mt. Lebanon, South Lebanon, Beka’a,
Riyadh, and Greece branches. And in another, more tangible
way, they decidedly left their mark on campus—proceeds
from Reunions 2003 raised $11,626 for AUB financial aid.