Hundreds of incoming students and their families—parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters—gathered in West Hall on September 24 for Legacy Ceremony 2019. It was a festive and very well-attended occasion with lots of balloons, T-shirts, and gifts. The Legacy Ceremony was also a chance to celebrate some enduring AUB values and to offer some advice to incoming students.
In his welcoming remarks, AUB President Fadlo R. Khuri spoke about why it is that there are so many multi-generational families at AUB. “I think that even the most cursory look at AUB history proves that people of integrity and vision, such as are nurtured at AUB and congregate here, can join together to provide a role model for a fair, just, and inclusive society, one for the wider world to learn from and emulate. It is that enduring belief that unites the worldwide AUB family in such a powerful way—and, I believe, is why so many AUB parents encourage their children to attend their alma mater.”
Dr. Salim Kanaan, director of admissions and financial aid, urged students to “embrace difference as it would be a lost opportunity to stick with your own group, get to know people who are different from you. This could be someone from a different part of the country, or from another country, or from a different ethnicity, a different religion, who has different views or has different interests and perspectives.” Keynote speaker, alumnus, and AUB parent Yasser Kaaki (BAR ’93) shared his personal experience of how AUB had helped him to be the person he is today: “AUB is in every part of my life. I confess that AUB has been one of the main reasons behind what I was able to achieve in my professional life and my personal life. AUB does help you to develop leadership qualities and better communication skills.”
Although there is a lot about AUB that has not changed over the years, there have been quite a few changes as Dean of Student Affairs Talal Nizameddin, PhD, highlighted in his remarks. He spoke about the many opportunities and services that are now available for AUB students including athletic facilities at the Charles Hostler Student Center, the career hub, counseling services, and almost a hundred clubs and societies. “AUB students are engaged at all levels. Today’s students are more about action and civic engagement,” he said.
Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Salma Dannawi Oueida, who is herself a member of a multi-generational AUB family, invited alumni parents to become involved with AUB’s worldwide alumni community. “AUB needs your support and your engagement. We welcome your financial support for our BOLDLY AUB campaign of course, but we need you just as much to contribute to our mentoring platform, to help current students secure internships, and to help recent graduates get settled,” she said. Oueida directed her final remarks at incoming AUB students: “Please know that AUB’s Office of Alumni Relations is here to help you throughout your lifelong relationship with AUB. We are proud to have you on our campus—and look forward to welcoming your children to AUB one day! I know this seems like it won’t happen for a long, long time. Trust me—that day will come sooner than you can imagine!” The ceremony concluded with a memorable photo on the Main Gate steps.