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Alumni Activities Worldwide!

Lebanon

Agriculture and Food Sciences Chapter

On December 6, 2003, the AAA Agriculture and Food Sciences Chapter held a general assembly and a “Quiz Night” at the Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut. Around 100 alumni and friends attended the event, with FAFS Dean Nuhad Daghir and Associate Director of Development Samir F. Kadi also there to represent AUB.
Chapter President Yussef Dughan welcomed the guests and introduced Dean Daghir, who expressed the University’s appreciation for the chapter’s ongoing efforts on behalf of AUB. The general assembly was then called to order and a slate of nominees for election of the chapter’s new officers was posted. The election that followed voted in Mussa Freiji as president, Nell Abu Ghazalleh as vice president, Abir Abu Al-Khoudud as secretary, Abed Al-Ghani Michlawi as treasurer, and Nadim Farjallah and Yussef Dughan as members-at-large. After dinner, the guests were entertained by a fun quiz game.

AUB Alumni Association, Beirut


In a ceremony held in the Assembly Hall on June 26, 2003, the AUB Alumni Association reinstituted an annual tradition it had established in the early 1970s of celebrating the 25th and 50th anniversaries of AUB graduates. For the 120 alumni of ’78 and the 30 alumni of ’53 who had come from near and far to attend the event, it was an especially moving experience to be honored by their alma mater with such pageantry 25 and 30 years respectively after their graduation. The ceremony was held under the distinguished patronage of President Emile Lahoud, represented by Minister of State Karam Karam, and in the presence of Minister of Finance Fuad Siniora as the representative of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.
Mohamad Machnouk, president of the Alumni Association, and Fawaz Merheby, chairman of its Relations and Welfare Committee, welcomed the guests and congratulated the graduates. Dr. Karam paid tribute to the University and its achievements. The graduates of ’78 and ‘53 were decorated with silver and gold medals respectively, and the ceremony ended with Habib Efram (’78) and Adnan Bseisu (’53) expressing the appreciation of their classmates for the memorable event.
Another occasion of note was the reception for the class of 2003 hosted by the Alumni Association on June 23, when 700 new AUB grads gathered on the open patio of the Association's interim quarters in Wardiyeh Square. There, in his welcome to the guests, President Machnouk presented each with a one-year free membership in the association and its club, along with a pin bearing the association's emblem.
In celebration of AUB Founders' Day, the association held a dinner at the Bristol Hotel on the evening of December 5, where the guest of honor and keynote speaker was the distinguished alumnus, Riad Salameh, governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank. Over 450 alumni and friends attended the event, which was organized by the Relations and Welfare and the Club committees of the association.
Mona Kanaan, chairperson of the Club Committee, and Fawaz Merheby, head of the Relations and Welfare Committee, welcomed the guests. Riad Salameh, who was honored with a shield of appreciation and a silver medal, reminisced about his days as an AUB student and also presented his views on current economic developments in Lebanon.
Later in the evening the Suad al Sabbah awards were made by Dr. George Jeha of the Suad al Sabbah Foundation. In the literary category, the first prize went to Albert Amin Rihani and the second prize to Atef Faddoul. In the scientific category, Hala Ghali-Muhtassib was awarded the first prize and Bilal Kaafarani the
second prize.

Engineering and Architecture Chapter

Approximately 400 alumni and their guests attended the annual get-together of the Engineering and Architecture Branch, held this year on December 8, 2003, at the Phoenicia Hotel.
Sami Alamuddine, president of the branch, welcomed the guests and spoke about the chapter’s achievements and its contributions to AUB. Yakub Sarraf, the governor of Beirut, recalled his days as a student at AUB and said that the education he received there had provided him with many skills that helped advance his career.

In his address to the gathering, AUB President John Waterbury talked about the latest developments at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. He noted that its student enrollment had now reached a record of 1,500, that 18 new faculty members had been recruited from the United States and Canada over the last three years, and that many faculty members have been receiving significant research grants.
On the occasion, the branch honored five people for their achievements in the field of engineering in Lebanon and the region: Sheikh Marzouk Al-Kharafi, Samir Mokbel, George Tomey, Mahmoud Abdul-Baki, and Issam Abul-Hussun.
Then, before going on with dinner and an evening of music and entertainment, the Engineering and Architecture Branch presented President Waterbury with a check in the amount of $10,000 to be added to the its scholarship fund at AUB.

Mount Lebanon Branch

More than 320 AUBites gathered for the annual gala dinner held by the Mount Lebanon Branch on December 5, 2003, at the Metropolitan Hotel. Rima Kadi welcomed the distinguished guests, who included the keynote speaker, Lebanese Deputy Nimah Tomey, former Minister of Environment Samir Mokbel, and Mrs. Mona Hrawi, along with other personalities prominent in both the public and the private sectors.
In welcoming everyone, Samir Abu Samra, president of the branch, reminded them that the objective of the event was to raise funds in support of needy AUB students hailing from Mount Lebanon. One of those students, Nisrine Fayyad, who is currently enrolled at AUB on a Mount Lebanon Branch scholarship, thanked the donors and called for further contributions to student financial aid at AUB. Deputy Tomey, on his part, insisted on the importance of strengthening the relations between AUB and its alumni.
Minutes later, showing that it was one step ahead of such reminders, the Mount Lebanon Branch came up with a check in the amount of $13,000, representing an initial portion of the proceeds of the gala event, to be added to the branch’s scholarship fund at AUB.
Members of the Mount Lebanon Branch were given a choice opportunity to visit Jordan on a trip that was organized in October 2003 by the Relations and Welfare Committee in coordination with the AAA branch in Jordan. The visiting group, headed by Samir Abu Samra and Ramez Haddad, spent four days touring the country’s major tourist attractions and meeting with their fellow alumni in Jordan. Farouk Abi Jaber, an AUB alumnus and a prominent Jordanian, gifted each of the Lebanese visitors with a copy of the book of memoirs he had written and dedicated to AUB.


Middle East


Jordan Branch

The Jordan Branch held a charity dinner on October 4, 2003, to benefit the Voluntary Outreach Clinic (VOC) of the Chatila Camp in Beirut. The event, which was held in Amman and attracted over 200 alumni and friends, was co-sponsored by Bristol Myer Squibb. Randa Nabulsi, president of the branch, announced that the event had raised $15,300 for the VOC; and alumnus Samih Darwazah pledged that his firm, Al-Hikma Pharmaceutical Company, would donate a quantity of medical supplies to VOC.


Europe


Greece Branch


On November 29, 2003, the AUB Alumni Branch in Greece held a fundraising gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Athens. More than 200 alumni and friends attended the event, including executives from Contractors Company International and the Olayan Group working in Greece.
Garbis Kesheshian, coordinator of the Greece branch, welcomed the guests on behalf of the organizing committee. Among them were AUB Vice President for Development and External Relations W. Stephen Jeffrey and Associate Director of Development Samir F. Kadi who had made a special trip to Athens to attend the gala. Kesheshian noted that the branch had succeeded in registering more than 165 alumni in Greece so far.
Dimitri Contominas, president of the branch, in recalling his memories of AUB, talked about how he went along with more than 150 students from Greece to Beirut in 1958 to study at AUB. The education and values he acquired there as a student, he said, were invaluable in helping him succeed in life, both professionally and on a personal level.
After dinner, the guests were entertained by a live band that played both Arabic and Greek songs and also by two lively dance performances, one by a Greek couple and the other by an Arab belly dancer. Many of the alumni stayed on to participate in a dance competition that lasted until the early hours of the morning.

Swiss Branch

As in previous years, the annual gathering of the Swiss Alumni Branch that took place on June 14, 2003, turned out to be a rousing success. The gala dinner, which was held at the Geneva Hilton Hotel overlooking Lake Leman, was attended by two representatives of AUB: Nuhad Daghir, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and Director of Development Imad Baalbaki. Setting an upbeat mood from the start, the evening’s program began with a cocktail reception at which photos of the university campus and of earlier alumni activities organized by the Swiss branch were projected on a large screen.


 

After all were seated, Akram Saadeh, president of the Swiss Branch and an AUB agriculture graduate, took the podium to welcome the audience. He thanked the Swiss AUB alumni and friends for their loyalty and continuous support and lost no time in telling them that they had helped raise a total of $36,000 in AUB scholarships during the past year. He also paid tribute to the branch’s committee members for their fine work in organizing the gala event, saying their efforts clearly reflected their strong interest in the welfare of their alma mater.
In his address, Dean Daghir spoke about recent initiatives at AUB, especially about the new Campus Master Plan and the Campaign for Excellence, and noted the importance of the financial assistance being provided by the Swiss Branch and other alumni groups. The Lebanese Ambassador to Switzerland Samir Hobeica, who attended last year’s gala dinner and was again in attendance, provided the audience with interesting information about the role of the Lebanese constituency in Switzerland.
A portion of this year’s donation, in the amount of $20,000, was used to establish a new endowed scholarship fund. This latest gift puts the total donations of the Swiss Branch since 1990 at around $210,000.


North America

Atlanta Chapter


AUB families and friends in Atlanta celebrated the 2003 holiday season with a potluck dinner and game night on November 8. While the children romped around, the adults caught up with each other’s news while playing rousing games of Tarneeb, Leekha, and Bargees. The food was superb and the atmosphere thoroughly delightful. The Atlanta Chapter sends best wishes to all AUB alumni for a prosperous new year.

Greater Washington Chapter
In observance of the month of Ramadan, alumni and friends in Washington, DC gathered together for a kick-off iftar dinner on November 16. Held at the Lebanese Taverna in Crystal City, Virginia, the dinner honored Dr. George N. Atiyeh, Professor Suheil B. Bushrui, and Mr. Abdo G. Sabban.

Midwest Chapter

On Sunday, August 3, the Midwest Chapter held a brunch and book-signing event at the residence of Dr. Ara Tekian, president of AANA. The guest of honor was Ann Kerr, a member of the AUB Board of Trustees and an alumna of the University. Close to 50 members and their families attended. Dr. Samar Makhlouf, president of the chapter, welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation for their support. Dr. Tekian introduced Ann Kerr as one of the most dynamic "ambassadors" of AUB and a very active trustee who has continuously encouraged and supported AANA activities. In describing her recent book, Painting the Middle East, he said it was like a tapestry of short stories and that her impressions and watercolors evoked many fond memories of the beautiful countries in the Middle East. Everyone was entranced by Mrs. Kerr’s selected readings from the book, as well as by her refreshing responses in the question and answer session that followed. It was all a huge success—all the available books were quickly sold out; everyone welcomed the chance to converse with the author; and the event raised more that $1,700 for the chapter.

Montreal Chapter

The long awaited launching of the Montreal Chapter of AANA occurred in June 2003, when elections brought in an executive committee comprised of Dr. Donald Edde as president, Mona Ghazzaoui as vice president, Almas Aladas as secretary, and Costa Levantian as treasurer. The new committee then spent the months of July and August hard at work defining and announcing the chapter’s objectives, updating its contact list of AUB alumni and friends, and creating its website.
The chapter’s first social activity of the 2003–04 season was a brunch held on September 14 in the beautiful setting of Chateau Vaudreuil, where long-lost friends were reunited and the AUB spirit was kindled anew. Considering that it was the chapter’s first event, the attendance of over 225 AUB alumni and friends was indeed overwhelming. During the brunch, Dr. Edde summarized all that the executive committee aims to achieve, such as networking among the Montreal alumni as well as those of the Canadian, American, and other chapters; improving the image of the AUB graduates in North America by promoting greater public awareness of the University and its high standards; and building a solid scholarship fund that will make educational programs available to talented students.
An initiative recently undertaken by the Montreal Chapter is its Young Wing Program, which is intended to connect young AUB alumni and children of AUB alumni and friends with established alumni to help facilitate the smooth integration of young men and women into their chosen careers. The program was launched on October 17, when the chapter held a Young Wing Meet Your Mentor Party, at which 14 well established AUB alumni and friends from various professions volunteered to be mentors to the 155 young professionals present. The event turned out to be a wonderful combination of mentoring and partying, and the feedback from the young alumni was extremely positive. They immediately recognized the great benefit they would derive from having mentors to help guide them in their careers. Mentoring will be an ongoing activity, with the biographies of the mentors posted on the chapter’s website.
The Montreal executive committee is not about to rest. Other initiatives and events are in the works. On February 7, 2004, the chapter will hold its first gala at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal. Given the success of the chapter’s first two events and the enthusiastic determination of the executive team and its volunteers, it promises to be a great gala.
The chapter’s website—www.aubalumnimontreal.com—is now online and regularly updated. Check it for latest news and developments, as well as for photos of events and the mentor biographies.

New England Chapter

Alumni and friends gathered on December 6 at the MIT Hotel in Cambridge for the New England Chapter’s annual holiday party. The festive evening combined fine food and drink with the welcome pleasures of conversation among friends.
Psychiatry Chapter
During the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in San Francisco in May 2003, members of the AANA Psychiatry Chapter seized the opportunity to hold their own meeting and map out the chapter’s future directions. First, they elected Dr. Noha Sadek as president and Dr. Ali Melhem as secretary, after which they discussed and reached consensus on defining the mission of the chapter as one of promoting social and educational communication between chapter members and supporting the Psychiatry Department at AUB. It was agreed that chapter meetings would be held annually at the APA meeting and that the chapter would try to recruit more members, especially recent grads. AUB psychiatry alumni interested in joining the chapter or attending the May 2004 meeting in New York should contact Dr. Noha Sadek at nsadek1@yahoo.com.

Southern California


Southern Californian alumni ‘took to the hills’ for a hike through the Will Rogers State Park on November 9, 2003, accompanied by AUB trustee and alumna Ann Kerr and her golden retriever. They all made it up the mountain with ease to reach the idyllic height of Inspiration Point, where they were rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view of the landscape below.
Surgical Society of North America
Surgical Society members and other AUB alumni attending the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Chicago
gathered for a meeting on October 21, 2003, at the Fairmont Hotel, where they reconnected with old friends and learned about the society’s upcoming activities.