Graduation was not the only thing that the Class of 2012 celebrated at the end of June. The group of new AUB alumni also celebrated collecting $36,568 from their classmates towards student scholarships, as part of the Fingerprints initiative.
Students, AUB trustees, USFC members and other distinguished guests gathered at President Peter Dorman’s private residence, Marquand House, to celebrate the donations made by students from the class of 2012 to the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund at a reception on June 19, 2012.
Fingerprints, a student-driven initiative, was founded in 2002 to raise funds for financial aid. This year, 60 percent of the graduating class contributed to the fund, with nearly 1050 students donating a total of $36,568.
For the third year in a row, each dollar donated by the students was matched with $2 by AUB Trustee Omar AlFardan. In other words, every $1 contributed to Fingerprints is actually worth $3, or nearly $120,000 as a result of this year’s contributions. Since its induction, the endowment fund has grown to $1.2 million and helped 107 needy students so far.
“On the tenth anniversary of this program, I am impressed with the level of participation of the graduating class,” said President Dorman. “You are all part of a rare group in the university as donors. Donors are aware of the importance of their contribution to the community, and this is part of the basics of what we teach here at AUB.”
Imad Baalbaki, associate vice president for development, said that the Fingerprints program reflects the kind of loyalty AUB graduates and alumni feel toward their institution. He added that the record over the years shows that the most enthusiastic of donors were students who had been on financial aid themselves. “They donate because they themselves have felt the value of such scholarships and wanted to grant future students of AUB the same chance of the quality education they were entitled to,” he said.
Several students on the Fingerprints scholarship expressed their gartitude for receiving such financial support.
Yara Hazouri, who is graduating with a degree in nursing, said, “The scholarship really means a lot to students and I really appreciated mine and wanted to give back.”
One other student donated to the fund three times, having graduated from AUB with three different degrees. “I’ve been receiving financial aid for seven years, so I wanted to pay it forward, to help other people benefit as I did,” said Yunis Mayasi, graduating this time with a master’s in neuroscience.
Then two current students who are beneficiaries of the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship went up on the podium and gave speeches.
“I’m here in the name of AUB students who wanted to thank you from the bottom of their hearts. I’m here to say that without your help a lot of students could not have achieved their dreams of higher education,” said Nour Hafi, a second year psychology student, who, with the scholarship, was able to reduce her work hours and focus more on her studies.
“When I was selected to attend AUB, I knew that I would be getting a great education, but with the help of the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund, I was able to further increase my chances of success.”
In her speech, Athar Khalil, a scholarship recipient in her second year in medical laboratory sciences, said that all her interactions with the AUB community have molded her into a different person. She added that AUB, a university built on diversity, has taught her that the chances are endless for those who are truly ready to achieve, regardless of their background, financial status, or ethnicity.
“This financial aid program was without a doubt the support I needed to embark on this journey and, in a sense, to start a new life,” said Khalil.