The members of the 1866 Society of the American University of Beirut (AUB) gathered for their annual receptions on November 27 and December 8, one held for faculty and staff, and the other for alumni and friends. The receptions took place at the Marquand House, and were attended by President Fadlo Khuri, Vice President for Advancement Dr. Imad Baalbaki, AUB officials, and honorable guests.
Established in November 2014, the 1866 Society is a leadership circle celebrating the University’s most loyal supporters. Named for the year of AUB’s founding, the Society includes an exclusive group of generous donors, made up of faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends, who have made a donation to the University for at least seven out of the last ten years. Members receive pins to recognize their level of commitment, ranging from bronze—for seven to nine years of support—to platinum, signifying over twenty years of commitment.
AUB’s 1866 Society serves as a reminder of the importance of consistent giving. Over 900 generous donors are part of the Society, of which around 100 are donors who have supported AUB consistently for over twenty years. Gifts from the 1866 Society go towards crucial areas such as academic programs, campus enhancement, and research. It has also allowed the creation and continuity of a number of scholarships to support students in need, as well as funding for various initiatives at the AUB Medical Center (AUBMC).
During both celebrations, Dr. Khuri insisted on the importance of philanthropy in supporting the University, adding that “there is no institution in the world that inspires loyalty from its alumni the way AUB does.”
“Each of you understands the transformative power of philanthropy. By giving to AUB year after year, you impact the lives of future generations and serve as an inspiration to others to follow your example-- for this I am privileged to express my gratitude on behalf of the university and to welcome you to the second annual reception to honor the 1866 Society,” added President Khuri during the second reception held for alumni and friends.
Mr. Abdallah Darwiche, loyal alumnus and committed member of the 1866 Society, credited AUB financial aid for his own education, without which an Engineering degree would not have been possible. He assured on the behalf of his fellow members, that this Society will continue its “unwavering support to AUB for years to come. “Nowadays, more than ever, we acknowledge the increasing number of underprivileged youth who are so precious in terms of untapped potential,” said Darwiche, “God knows how much they can achieve and deliver given the right opportunity. Hence, the noble purpose of AUB that truly lives its Alma Mater ‘that they may have life and live have it more abundantly.’”
On both evenings, the ceremony was followed by a reception.