American University of Beirut

1,374 undergraduates receive their degrees at AUB’s 155th Commencement Ceremony

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, communications@aub.edu.lb

Khuri: “That must be our path: success earned the hard way, ultimate communal success all the more rewarding for having failed at it time and again."

On June 7 and 8, the American University of Beirut (AUB) celebrated its 155th commencement ceremony, honoring the graduation of 2,071 students from its seven faculties and recognizing the recipients of AUB's highest accolade, the honorary doctorate of humane letters for their leadership and contributions to society.

June 7 saw the conferral of doctoral, master's, and medical degrees to the graduate class of 2024, along with the recognition of three distinguished recipients of AUB's honorary doctorate of humane letters.

The celebrations continued on June 8 with the graduation ceremony for 1,374 undergraduates.

In his address, "A Paean to Failure," Dr. Fadlo Khuri, AUB president, discussed the significance of failure as a catalyst for growth and success. He drew on historical and cultural examples, emphasizing that failure should be embraced and learned from. Highlighting the profound impact of failure on societies and individuals, Khuri underscored the importance of resilience and continuous striving.

“AUB class of 2024, celebrate your successes in graduating today, secure in the knowledge that every misstep was ultimately a stride forward in our shared journey to a better life for all, towards shaping a society where every life can and must be made more useful and more abundant," Khuri said.​

Darren Charles Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and one of this year's honorary doctorate recipients, delivered the undergraduate commencement address. Walker is a prominent leader in philanthropy and social development, known for his ​dynamic leadership and commitment to fostering equality and innovation. He is an author and active member of many prestigious international organizations whose work underscores the significance of justice and inclusivity, focusing on education, creativity, and free expression.

Walker addressed AUB's class of 2024 with an inspiring message on the importance of shared values and the strength found in diversity. Drawing from his own life experience, Walker discussed how solidarity and community can help overcome life's challenges. “At this moment when it is all too tempting to shut out those with whom you differ, I implore you not to build walls, but to build bridges:  To transcend divides, rather than widening them; to forge new relationships, by listening with humility, and curiosity, and empathy; to find common ground, at the intersection of open minds and open hearts," he said.

He added, “The work ahead will not be easy.  It will take comfort with discomfort.  It will take risk.  It will take hope—radical, audacious hope.  And it will take love.  But I have every confidence that you—that your generation—is up to the task ahead."

Speaking on behalf of his class was Daron Soussani, who has excelled academically and contributed significantly to the AUB community while pursuing his biology bachelor's degree.

In a heartfelt speech, Soussani recounted his transformative journey at AUB, highlighting the supportive community and the growth he experienced. Reflecting on his initial fears and how the university community helped him overcome them, Soussani emphasized the unity and resilience among AUB students from diverse backgrounds. He celebrated the inclusive spirit and dedication of AUB faculty and classmates, showcasing how they go beyond academics to build lasting bonds and support systems.

The event concluded with an atmosphere of excitement and celebration, as graduates and their families marked this significant milestone with joy and anticipation for a promising future.


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