With the aim of celebrating loyalty through consistent giving, the annual receptions in honor of the members of the 1866 Society at the American University of Beirut (AUB) took place on November 27 and 28; one held for faculty and staff, and the other for alumni and friends. The receptions were held at Marquand House and were attended by President Fadlo Khuri, Vice President for Advancement Imad Baalbaki, other AUB officials, and guests.
Named for the year of AUB’s founding, the Society is an exclusive group of generous donors made up of faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends, who have donated 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. Around 1,000 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 members go towards crucial areas such as academic programs, campus enhancement, and research, as well as the creation and continuity of several scholarships to support students in need and 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, noting that, “the 1866 Society frankly recognizes our most consistent donors, people who are with us through thick and thin.”
“This evening we are celebrating loyalty, and not your loyalty to an administration or to a concept, but to the values of AUB which have been transformative,” added Dr. Khuri. “What we need is to show that we as people can have a sustainable civil society, one that reflects the values that many of you have learned at AUB, of respect of others, of diversity, and of the pursuit of excellence.”
Mr. Imad Taher, AUB alumnus and committed member of the 1866 Society, addressed the audience with a touching speech, detailing why he chooses to support AUB.
“I do realize there may be more famous renowned universities and there may be several ranked higher worldwide, but few institutions have impacted and influenced their surroundings or the countries or regions they are in as much as AUB. With this in mind, for its past accomplishments and for what it stands for, I cannot but support AUB,” said Taher. “I support AUB because it is secular and a place where students and teachers from all factions, religions, sects, and races come together to study and teach - free from any prejudices, bias, and discriminations.”