Alumni Activities Worldwide!
The Beka’a Branch organized a University Open Fair at the
Evangelical School in Zahle with participating local institutions,
including AUB, Lebanese American University, Beirut Arab University,
Universite St. Joseph, University of Balamand, American University
of Science and Technology, and Lebanese University
so that students could learn more about each school. Branch President
Faysal el-Kak and alumnus and school principal Mulak Abbud addressed
The branch later organized the Congress
on Youth and Public Life with the Union of Alumni of Schools in
Zahle. The two-day program, held under the presence of HE Khalil
Hrawi, a representative of President Emile Lahoud, was well-attended
by Beka’a public officials, religious figures, dignitaries,
and fellow alumni. The congress addressed the role and involvement
of youth in public life. In his opening speech, branch President
el-Kak stated that the framework of youth involvement is based on
human rights and social justice and called on the government to
establish a model environment of transparency, equality, and justice
encourage the participation of more
young people in society.
The Beka’a Branch held its eigth
fundraising iftar this year for alumni and friends. Joining special
guest speaker Finance Minister HE Fuad Saniora were many Beka’a
officials including Elie Firzli, Mahmoud Abou Hamdan, Sami Khatib,
Ismail Sukarieh, Waddah Nasr, Samir Kadi,and Georges Azar. The festivities
began with a talk by branch President
el-Kak on the importance of fundraising and an update on the 14
students who have benefited from the group’s scholarship fund.
Waddah Nasr spoke about the uniqueness of an AUB education in an
increasingly competitive educational market. Guest speaker HE Saniora
discussed Paris II and asked for the support of all groups in Lebanon,
including AUB alumni, because of the University’s crucial
academic and community role in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Lebanese President HE General Emile Lahoud received members of the
AAA Engineering and Architecture Chapter on November 12, 2002 in
the presence of Minister Marwan Hamadeh. Chapter President Sami
Alamuddine thanked President Lahoud for decorating Kamal Shair,
Nazih Taleb, Nizar Yunis, Hassib Sabbagh, Mounir Khatib, Albert
Matta, Mohammad Nasser, and Sabah Abi Hanna. President Lahoud, expressing
his appreciation for the efforts of the chapter, presented President
Alamuddine with the Presidential Gratitude Shield.
The Nursing Chapter held its annual sehour at Beyti Restaurant on
November 21, 2002. Chapter President Nuhad Yazbek welcomed the guests
and explained the new plans for the coming year. Over 50 alumni
and spouses enjoyed an evening filled with fine food and entertainment.
Abu Dhabi Branch
The AUB Alumni Association Abu Dhabi Branch is a fine example of
an active and dedicated group of AUB graduates who have worked diligently
together over the years. In 1979, the branch emerged through the
efforts of its 18 founding members, at a time when AUB needed immediate
and substantial assistance. The founding alumni laid the basis for
the association bylaws and organized activities, including the first
Annual Spring Ball.
Currently, over 700 AUB alumni live
and work in the Emirates, including prominent executives in many
fields: construction, business, banking, agriculture, engineering,
public health, and many, many others.
A committee to head the association
and organize its activities is usually elected for a term of two
years each June. Activities include musical concerts, plays, lectures,
family fun days, Ramadan Nights (Layali Ramadan), fundraising dinners,
and the prestigious Annual Alumni Spring Ball. This major Abu Dhabi
alumni activity is a prestigious event that attracts over 500 participants
every year, in addition to distinguished AUB and Lebanese officials.
Its most recent function, held on June 3, 2002 was attended by AUB
President John Waterbury and featured HE Salim Hoss, former prime
minister of Lebanon, as guest speaker.
The branch has set up two funds: the
Abu Dhabi Alumni Medical Sciences Endowment Scholarship Fund and
the Abu Dhabi Alumni Endowment Scholarship Fund. The former provides
financial assistance to needy and qualified students in medicine,
health sciences, and nursing, while the latter assists students
enrolled in other faculties. Gifts made by the Abu Dhabi Alumni
Branch to both funds have been invested by AUB. Their market value
as of September 30, 2001 was $884,232 for the Medical Sciences Endowment
and $869,798 for the Abu Dhabi Alumni Endowment for a total of $1,754,030.
Other gifts designated for a number of uses have been made by the
Abu Dhabi Branch, bringing the total to over two and a quarter million
On July 10, 2002 Branch President
Mohamad Sleiman visited the AUB campus and presented to President
John Waterbury a check for $125,000 that was added to the Abu Dhabi
Alumni Endowment Scholarship ($75,000), and to the Abu Dhabi Alumni
Medical Sciences Endowment Scholarship ($50,000).
All news regarding the association,
in addition to contact information and numbers, is available on
the extensive AUB Alumni Association—Abu Dhabi web site: http://www.aubalumni.org.
On June 6, 2002 the AUB Alumni Association of Dubai and Northern
Emirates held their annual gala dinner at the Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel.
Around 450 AUB alumni and friends attended the dinner, which featured
a raffle and a performance by singer Khaled Abdallah.
After a welcoming reception, Association
President Najat Zaarour opened the dinner by thanking the AUB alumni
and friends for their dedicated support of their alma mater. Zaarour
then described AUB as an institution of leadership “where
the leading lights of tomorrow are crafted.”She then discussed
major activities that the Dubai and Northern Emirates Alumni had
organized throughout the year including a Ramadaniyat social evening
attended by more than 600 alumni and friends and a very well received
monodrama by Rafic Ali Ahmad. Zaarour closed with a quotation from
Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we
make a life by what we give,” referring to the generous support
of the AUB alumni and friends in Dubai and Northern Emirates that
provided $170,000 in financial aid support to the University in
the 2001-2002 academic year.
His Excellency Ghassan Tueni then
took the podium as the guest of honor and keynote speaker. This
was the very first time Tueni had addressed an alumni gathering
outside Lebanon. Tueni, who graduated from AUB more than 50 years
ago and who has served as a trustee for years, described graduation
from the University as a mission of success and excellence. He expressed
how impressed he was with the success that AUB graduates have had
in Dubai, but reminded the audience that their stay in the diaspora
is temporary, even if crowned with success. “After all,”
he said, “we are termed successful only when we succeed in
Over 90 alumni and spouses attended the Qatar Branch’s first
gathering of the year on December 15, 2002. Branch President Ghassan
Uwaijan introduced the newly elected committee and detailed their
plans, which include a fundraising gala dinner on May 1, 2002. He
also affirmed the commitment to AUB of the 120 alumni residing in
Samir Kadi, associate director of
development/director of alumni affairs, briefed the audience about
current developments on campus, focusing on the Campus Master Plan
and the Campaign for Excellence. He also tackled some alumni projects
such as class reunions, the Fingerprints Program, and the Dodge
Foundation Challenge to Middle East Alumni.
Sets Strong Agenda
The leadership of the AUB Alumni Association of North America (AANA)
convened in New York City November 15-16, 2002 for an intensive
retreat focusing on fundraising, alumni, and external affairs. Organized
by AANA President Ara Tekian, who served as retreat moderator, and
Miyada Musharbash of the AUB New York Office (NYO), sessions included
presentations by President John Waterbury, Chairman of the Board
Richard A. Debs, Provost Peter Heath, Vice President for Development
and External Relations W. Stephen Jeffrey, and the deans of the
Faculties of Medicine, Engineering and Architecture, and the School
This was the first time that several
of the AANA board members and chapter presidents had the opportunity
to meet with key
university administrators. Marked by an open dialog, retreat
discussions were at times intense but clarified for the participants
many issues, such as scholarship support, raising the profile of
AUB in North America, and how alumni can best represent the University.
AANA leaders put together a list of
initiatives for the next year based on the retreat discussions.
Some immediate goals are an update of the AANA database and web
site to better facilitate communications among alumni. Participants
also proposed creating and distributing promotional materials about
AUB and the Campaign for Excellence to all chapters. Alumni were
especially enthusiastic about investigating how to establish a solid
mentorship program between North American alumni and current AUB
students. Other important priorities are to enhance AANA’s
relationship with the New York Office and, ultimately, to create
a stronger partnership with the University. Serious business and
discussions were not the only items on the agenda. Alumni were able
to relax and enjoy each other’s company over a leisurely dinner
President Tekian felt that the retreat
was a great success for AANA as well as AUB. “Communication
is the key to success, and it could be through phone calls, e-mail
messages and letters, or
formal and informal gatherings. Even more could be achieved if chapter
presidents and the leadership of AUB get to know each other and
communicate more frequently. This retreat was definitely a successful
move toward that goal,” added Tekian, who hopes the experience
will be repeated every other year.
Arizona alumni welcomed Vice President for Development and External
Relations W. Stephen Jeffrey at a dinner at the home of
Dr. and Mrs. Farid Haddad on January 9. Jeffrey updated guests on
the Campaign for Excellence and activities on campus. Arizona alumni
again expressed interest in forming a “Four Corners”
Southwestern chapter, building on their last meeting in June.
The Atlanta Chapter’s fall season got off to a great start
with an elegant brunch at Château Élan on October 20,
2002. Over 90 alumni and their friends and family members attended,
including recent graduates as well as many senior members of the
community. The chapter also recently celebrated the holidays with
a potluck dinner and game night which included enjoyable matches
of backgammon, “Tawlah.” and children’s games.
The year 2002 was filled with activity. The annual picnic for the
Baltimore and Washington, DC Chapters had great competitions in
soccer, volleyball, and karaoke. The annual fundraising gala was
another exciting event where outgoing president Alan Shikani
and the chapter leadership awarded two $5,000 scholarships for students
in need. The chapter also assisted in reviving AUB’s relationship
with Johns Hopkins University by arranging a visit for Nadim Cortas,
dean of the Faculty of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs.
November brought a mini-reunion for members of the medical school
class of 1982, which was such a success the chapter hopes to organize
a full reunion in Lebanon in the near future.
The new Business Chapter organized its first event, a luncheon,
in New York City on November 13, 2002 with AUB School of Business
Dean George Najjar as keynote speaker. Dean Najjar outlined the
School’s recent achievements and stressed that business education
is central to the future of the Middle East. He thanked alumni for
attending, noting that they are a source of intellectual, moral,
and material support for the School. President and CEO of Cedar
Capital Management Wael Chehab sponsored the luncheon, which was
attended by alumni who are prominent business leaders in New York.
The revitalized chapter organized its first dinner dance on November
16, 2002 at the Fayetteville Country Club. Over 80
alumni and friends attended this event in honor of AUB Trustee Ann
Kerr. In the welcome address, chapter President Amin
El-Hassan introduced his fellow officers and talked about the
chapter’s upcoming activities, which will also include members
of the area’s Arab-American community. Ann Kerr spoke about
major developments at AUB and her newly published book Painting
the Middle East, which she signed for guests.
On October 13, 2002 friends and alumni in Houston gathered
for a picnic at Eldridge Park in Sugarland to open the fall season.
Guests enjoyed Lebanese specialties like man’ousheh and habbit
zaitouneh while catching up with each other.
Houston alumni attended a book signing
of Painting the Middle East by AUB Trustee Ann Kerr on February
1 at Barnes & Noble.
Plans are underway for a number of events in 2003, including a winter
dinner, a fundraising concert in spring or early summer, the annual
summer picnic (combined this year with a tennis and backgammon tournament),
and a holiday dinner at the end of the year. Be sure to check the
Northern California Chapter’s web site at www.aubalum.org
for more details.
On September 22, 2002 the chapter organized a piano recital by pianist/composer
Walid Howrani at the First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois.
The program included Howrani’s own AUB Alma Mater Variations
and other exciting works, including Gershwin’s seven most
romantic songs and Schulz Evler’s breath-taking arrangement
of Strauss’s Blue Danube. “It was a very successful
program, and I hope other chapters invite Walid to perform in their
communities,” said Ara Tekian, who held a special reception/dinner
at his residence in Oak Park in honor of Howrani following the recital.
Other activities in August included a well-attended outing at Arlington’s
Horse Race and a visit by alumni to an exhibition and lecture organized
by Vicki Hovanessian on contemporary art. “We are planning
to have our annual dinner dance in April or May 2003 and to invite
Ashleigh Banfield of MSNBC to be a special guest,” said Chapter
President Samar Makhlouf.
On November 19 the Ottawa Chapter and the Chair of Arabic Studies
at Ottawa University hosted AUB Trustee Ann Kerr for a signing and
discussion of her latest book, Painting the Middle East. Many chapter
members and friends turned out despite a big snowstorm. The presentation
sparked numerous discussions about Kerr’s experiences in the
Middle East, which continued through dinner. Many thanks to Abdallah
Obeid, director of the Chair of Arabic Studies at Ottawa University,
for providing the venue for this event.
In late September, Bliss Society members and alumni gathered
at the Norwich Inn in West Dover for an update on AUB from Associate
Director of Development Rima Zaitoon. Among those who attended were
Nuha and Nada Haddad, Alan W. Hortan, Robert and Myrle Linnel, Edward
and Marian Maddan, Mounir and Marjorie Sa’Adeh, Shukri and
Renee Sahyoun, and Wadi and Abbe Sawabini.
More than 70 alumni and friends attended a luncheon on November
3, 2002 at the Bretton Woods Recreation Center. AUB alumnus Majid
Khadduri was honored with the Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement
Award for his distinguished career in the field of
political science and international law. Khadduri received his BA
degree from AUB in 1932 and PhD from the University of Chicago.
He served as professor at many distinguished universities including
Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, and
the University of Virginia. During his 50-year career, he authored
16 books and dozens of articles and essays. His latest book, The
Gulf War, was written when he was in his mid-80s. In 1945, along
with another 18 other AUB alumni out of a total of 57 delegates,
he participated in the UN founding session in San Francisco, representing
Iraq. Other guests included Ambassador of Lebanon to the United
States Jamal Sa’d, Irfan Shahid, and Zohair Moghrabi.
On November 25, 2002 Ramzi and Ghada
Rihani hosted a dinner for Vice President for Development and External
Relations W. Stephen Jeffrey, and Director of Alumni Affairs Miyada
Musharbash with the chapter’s officers. Topics discussed were
the Campaign for Excellence, the University’s programs, and
North American alumni activities.