It was an exceptionally beautiful evening—and a stunning location with views of the Mediterranean and the Beirut skyline. The main attraction at the 2019 President's Scholarship Reception, however, were the scholarship students and donors—the men and women who, in the words of AUB President Fadlo R. Khuri, “increase our ability to empower those less fortunate, to help them meet the increasing financial demands of a transformative education." Scholarship donors contributed more than $11 million last year making it possible for AUB to award a total of $32 million to 3,495 students in 2017-18.
More than 50 scholarship donors and 200 scholarship recipients attended this year's reception on the rooftop of the Munib and Angela Masri Building on lower campus. Mrs. Anna El-Hassan, founder and president of the Wissam Al Hassan Foundation and one of the 1,388 donors who made gifts to support scholarships at AUB in 2017-18, was the featured speaker at this year's reception. She spoke eloquently about how important it was to ensure that all young people with intelligence and drive have the opportunity to get a good education, noting, “Human capacity determines the wealth of nations and is the foundation on which nations are built."
In his remarks, Khuri also spoke about the importance of providing young people with the opportunity to pursue their educations. He noted that for many students, the financial support they receive “is the difference in being able to pursue their studies or not. This is more precious than any precious stone. For each student it opens the pathway to pursue a more abundant life throughout their lives, for themselves, and the communities around them."
Several students talked about what receiving a scholarship had meant to them and their families. Kinda Ghazal, who is a second-year economics student, described AUB as “not just an educational institution, but also a home." Final-year medical student Hisham Wehbe spoke for many scholarship recipients saying, “Without your generous support, many of us would not have made it this far."
“The numbers are impressive—$32 million, 3,495 students, 1,388 donors—but what's most impressive is the people behind those numbers, the individual donors and scholarship students. They are the ones we celebrate this evening," said VP for Advancement Imad B. Baalbaki.