Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
AUB and the US government celebrated a decade of partnership in education through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s
University Scholarship Program (USP). USAID has invested more than $150 million in this program over the past ten years. AUB received approximately $70 million, enabling more than 600 academically outstanding and economically disadvantaged students from across Lebanon to join AUB.
The event was held in AUB's OSB Habib Aziz Maamari Auditorium in the presence of US Ambassador Dorothy C. Shea, USAID Lebanon Mission Director Eileen Devitt, AUB President Fadlo Khuri, Provost Designee Malek Tabbal, and Program Director Samar Harkouss, as well as AUB faculty and staff, and USP scholars.
After ten years, the AUB USAID USP program has altered the lives of countless students and opened the doors to wider horizons and brighter futures. Under the program, scholars are required to maintain academic excellence, actively engage in community service and leadership training, and partake in career preparation workshops. Through the countless academic and non-academic awards generated by the program, the scholars witnessed the impact of this partnership and how important it has been on their lives, their families, and larger communities.
In her remarks, Ambassador Shea stated, “The University Scholarship Program is only one chapter of the strong partnership between the American and Lebanese people in the field of education. Initially, American missionaries in Lebanon established the Syrian Protestant College in 1866 which was later renamed the American University of Beirut….Since 2010, the US government, through USAID, has invested over $150 million dollars to provide full undergraduate scholarships to nearly 1,500 talented students hailing from across all 26 districts of Lebanon to gain a quality, higher education….To our students, I am very proud of you…You are the agents of change, you are the hope of a better tomorrow for Lebanon."
And in his speech, President Khuri said, “Today we are celebrating hundreds of scholars who were given a real chance at an extraordinary education, a transformative experience, and opportunities for them to then go on and make positive change. And that positive change has never been more badly needed in Lebanon than it is today." He added, “We are very grateful to the US Embassy, to our friends at USAID. We believe these first ten years are the beginnings of something great, something that will lead to a much better future for the people of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, and as far away as the mind can imagine."