American University of Beirut

Reunion 2023 – They came for the memories, they stayed for the fun


Thousands of alumni, friends, and their families attended AUB Reunion 2023. They came for the Honoring Ceremony and “An Electric Night With Rodge" on July 6; for visits to the AUB library, tours of the AUB Museum, and “A Musical Journey with Ziad Bourji" on July 7; and to enjoy day trips to the mountains or the sea on July 8. Most of all though, they came for the memories – the memories that they had of their years on campus, and for the memories that they knew they would make during Reunion 2023.

“The class reunions that we organize on campus each year are all about connections," explained Associate Vice President for Development, Alumni Relations, and University Events Salma Dannawi Oueida. “These connections include what President Khuri has called 'the ties that bind' alumni to their alma mater and also the connections that link alumni to each other – and to current and future students. What we do during Reunion is to nurture and celebrate these impactful and meaningful connections." Another way in which class reunions impact the university is through the donations that alumni make to the Class Reunion Endowed Scholarship Fund, which has so far yielded 18 scholarships.

Proceeds from ticket sales to the evening events on July 6 and July 7 and reunion sponsorships also benefited student scholarships. The 13 sponsors listed below demonstrated their belief in education through their monetary contributions, which helped to make the event possible, and their participation in Reunion events. Attendees were also able to support student scholarships by competing during the tombola on July 6 for more than 300 prizes offered by more than 50 supporters and friends of AUB.​

President Fadlo Khuri addressed celebrating alumni during the Honoring Ceremony. “AUB is more than just an alma mater," he reminded them. “It is a home, a reference in citizenship. Whether you are from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq or beyond. Your ties to AUB are deep." He spoke about what AUB was doing “to recommit itself to Lebanon, the Arab world, and beyond" and the important role that AUB alumni play. “We are counting on your engaged partnership," said Khuri.

Dr. Boushra Jabre (BA '65), who spoke on behalf of alumni celebrating a more-than-55-year graduation anniversary, lauded the impact of the AUB experience on her life – and the lives of other alumni. “No one can deny the seeds that AUB planted in us all: acceptance of others, tolerance and respect for differences and the pursuit of education and achievement," she said. In his remarks, Class of 1973 keynote speaker HE Roger Dib (BEN '73) called on his classmates, who were celebrating their 50th graduation anniversary, to “channel the resilience forged through adversity and work towards rebuilding bridges, fostering dialogue, and creating an environment that embraces tolerance, diversity, innovation, and collaboration." Akram Okeily (BS '98, EMBA '10), who spoke on behalf of the Class of 1998 celebrating its 25th graduation anniversary, credited the university's “rigorous curriculum, expert faculty, diverse student body, unwavering commitment to excellence, and deep-rooted sense of community and social responsibility" for laying the foundation for his success as the founder and manager of Okeili&co.

 The legendary Rodge got everyone on their feet on Thursday night – where many people stayed throughout the evening. “It was a wonderful evening of music and light," commented one alumna, “and a perfect way to end day one of Reunion." That night was followed on Friday, July 7, by a Lebanese musical journey with Ziad Bourji that included familiar songs. Many in the audience sang along.

On the last day, Saturday, July 8, alumni and their families enjoyed outings to either the Shouf Cedar Reserve or Jeita Grotto where they spent a fun day touring and sightseeing before savoring some delicious Lebanese food.​

All too soon, Reunion 2023 was over, but the human connections that Oueida spoke about endure – and are strengthened with every Class Reunion.​

AUB Reunion 2023 Sponsors:​​

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