Source: American University of Beirut
The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve, was officially launched at the American University of Beirut's Charles W. Hostler Student Center on Monday, January 16, at a spectacular gala attended by regional dignitaries, business leaders, AUB leadership, and friends of the University.
The campaign is the largest and most ambitious in the history of the University, and of any institution in the region. With a target of $650 million, it will support university advancement with ambitious initiatives to lead, innovate and serve the region and beyond.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Philip Khoury welcomed guests by reminding them of the AUB's foundational ideals of service and visionary philanthropy. He noted that “Throughout our history, the generous support of individuals, companies, foundations, and governments has helped us expand and diversify."
“We lead, through knowledge creation, openness, diversity, and a commitment to sustainability." Chairman Khoury said “We innovate with 'firsts' in a wide range of disciplines, from medicine and engineering to nutrition and humanities. We serve the communities around us, near and far, through outreach initiatives, regionally-relevant research, and the exceptional medical care we provide."
President Fadlo Khuri, in turn, welcomed the guests and highlighted groundbreaking AUB alumni who achieved through innovation and bold determination. He reflected on the importance of philanthropy in sustaining and developing the University as he thanked many of AUB's major donors by name.
“Adversity abounds, and AUB is the refuge. That is why we are launching a capital campaign entitled Boldly AUB, the Campaign to Lead, Innovate and Serve. We have set our sights high because our supporters recognize the vital importance of our mission to educate ever-greater numbers of deserving students who cannot afford our tuition, so we can put much-needed innovation and entrepreneurialism back into our society, so we can serve more of our most needy and unfortunate citizens," said Dr. Khuri.
To a thunderous round of applause, President Khuri announced the receipt of the single-most generous gift ever made to the University, presented by the Semaan Foundation. Representing the Foundation, Nour Semaan commented on the hopes and dreams of her father, Trustee Maroun Semaan, that, “Lebanon can resume its avant-garde role in the enlightenment and development of the region by contributing to the revolution in technology and modern sciences."
The Foundation's record-breaking gift is designated to endowing and naming AUB's venerable Faculty of Engineering and Architecture; henceforth the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.
The five main components of the Boldly AUB Campaign are education and research, healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship, community relevance, and sustainability. Campaign funding will support more doctoral programs, better research centers, and the building of new infrastructure and facilities to accommodate a growing number of students.
AUB also aims to establish the region's first health sciences center combining medical and health care, public health, nutrition, agriculture, engineering and other sciences building on the ambitious AUBMC 2020 vision. That vision is on target for completion and includes a new state-of-art medical complex, the highest standard of patient-centered care in the region, centers of excellence for research and education, strategic partnerships, the addition of top-caliber faculty, and support for patients with limited resources.
New centers of excellence
With Campaign funds, AUB will revamp its teaching methodologies across all majors to place innovation and entrepreneurship at the core. It will build a state-of-art science complex, and launch an innovation park that will rely on the transformative ideas of faculty and students; with a focus on providing useful assets to the community.
AUB looks forward to creating new micro-economies, contributing to the flourishing of SMEs in Lebanon and the region. Three new centers will be established: a center for the study of conflict resolution, a center for ethics, and a center to study the historical impact of Islamic sciences on the region and the world.
While AUB celebrated its history during its 150th Anniversary in 2016, in 2017, the Boldly AUB Campaign will look ahead to the next 150 years by putting the University on solid ground for economic, cultural, and environment sustainability.
Financial aid remains a top priority, as diversity enables the robust talent pool needed for regional growth by ensuring that no student is denied access to the University due to the lack of funds.