American University of Beirut

Giving Day 2021 – lighting up the world map for our students and patients

Thursday, December 16, 2021

It was truly a global celebration. More than 550 alumni and friends in 42 countries in six continents (we’re still looking for a donor in Antarctica) participated in AUB Giving Day 2021, contributing more than $1.38 million for student scholarships and to assist patients who need help to pay for the care they receive at the AUB Medical Center (AUBMC). “I am enormously impressed with this terrific result during these very challenging times,” commented AUB President Fadlo R. Khuri. “Our alumni chapters were especially active helping to mobilize their communities around the world in support of our university. We are deeply grateful for each and every donation.”

It wasn’t just the efforts of AUB’s Advancement team and the university’s more than 60 alumni chapters across the world that mobilized alumni and friends to donate for Giving Day. AUB’s seven academic deans also played a pivotal role in rallying their alumni, students, and staff. Donors were also motivated by the knowledge that their gifts would unlock donations from 10 Giving Day partners, all benefiting student scholarships and patients seeking care at AUBMC. 

“I described AUB’s first Giving Day in 2018 as ‘the longest day in AUB’s 153-year history,’ remembered Vice President for Advancement and Business Development Imad B. Baalbaki. “I think Giving Day 2021 was even longer. It was also more gratifying because of the extraordinary difficulties that we are facing in Lebanon and that affect all members of our community – even those who are not in Lebanon. Especially in times like this, people look to our university to be strong and to lead – and that’s what we will do and continue to do​ .” 

It was the “extraordinary difficulties” in Lebanon that made it impossible for AUB to organize Giving Day in 2019 and 2020 but, as Baalbaki explained, “we were determined to not let another year pass without a Giving Day. Mark your calendars now for Giving Day 2022!” 

As it was in 2018, AUB Giving Day was celebrated on Founders Day, the occasion when the university community, in the words of President Fadlo R. Khuri, “gathers each year to pay tribute to those who began what was then the Syrian Protestant College and set it on the path to become the diverse, inclusive, and transformative seat of higher learning and research excellence that it is today.” As Khuri explained in his speech on December 6, 2021, “philanthropy is a key element in our success: from the original donors who made opening this university a possibility, the Dodges, Blisses and others, to the generous thousands who help support us today.” The success of Giving Day 2021 is a tribute to our donors. Thank you.

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