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 Honorary Degrees Return to AUB
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From the Editors of MainGate

Life Lessons

As we came to the end of another academic year, we reflected on the role of the university in an individual’s life. Looking out on the multitude of excited graduates gathered at commencement, we got to thinking that an important part of one’s education occurs outside the classroom while at university.

This “added education” happens in exchanges with peers, learning the ins and outs of teamwork, being on one’s own for the first time, and handling adult responsibilities – such as meeting deadlines, mastering time management skills, understanding the importance of punctuality – that are training for the work place. Such experiences, or lessons learned, are in our opinion, just as important as academics. These personal and professional growth “classes” are considered a valuable part of one’s complete education at AUB. They are life lessons – which the 2003 graduates on the Green Field will carry with them for life.

During commencement, many were able to pay tribute to a distinguished and honored friend of AUB, the late Suliman S. Olayan, who imparted many life lessons to his family, friends, and colleagues throughout the world. A modest man from humble beginnings, Mr. Olayan began a career in 1947 that would amass into one of the most successful international enterprises in business. He served as a role model to many around the world for his extensive international business savvy, renowned modesty, and commitment to the ideals of education and culture. AUB was honored to have him serve on its board from 1979 to 1985 – and is fortunate to have the Olayan family still associated with the University with Hutham Olayan, Mr. Olayan’s daughter and AUB alumnus, on its board.

The example of Mr. Olayan as a stellar business leader, teacher, colleague, and friend is one that AUB is certain will inspire countless generations. To pay tribute to such a great man, the AUB Board of Trustees resolved in June to name its business school in his honor. At the 2003 commencement, the first graduating class of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business entered the world. We are certain that this young group, along with subsequent graduating classes, will make their mark on the Lebanese – and international – business community as distinctively as Mr. Olayan did. They have received an excellent AUB education and life lessons that simply ensure their success.

Lynn Mahoney and Ibrahim Khoury

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American University of Beirut
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