Cooperation agreement aligns AUB’s two alumni associations

​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, sa256@aub.edu.lb​

The Worldwide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut (WAAAUB) and the AUB Alumni Association (AAA) signed a cooperation agreement by which AAA agree to cooperate with the network of WAAAUB for the benefit of AUB and its alumni.
 
The agreement was signed by AUB President Fadlo Khuri, WAAAUB Interim President Hisham Jaroudi, and AAA President Fawaz El Merheby on Wednesday, June 6, in College Hall, signaling a new era of cooperation and alignment between the two organizations.
 
The agreement is a successful conclusion of talks between the two organizations to create the framework necessary to align AAA, which is AUB’s first alumni association founded in 1910, with the university’s strategic objectives. It builds on the vision and mission of WAAAUB, and the historic role and legacy of AAA as a representative chapter of alumni in Lebanon.  
  
Khuri expressed his satisfaction with the agreement, saying that, “By signing this agreement, the long-standing divide between the university and its oldest alumni chapter is now officially at an end… Our hope and expectation is that, after a lengthy hiatus, the agreement will make it more attractive for our young alumni to join AAA, AUB and Lebanon's oldest and indeed largest alumni association, and an organization many of our parents and their parents proudly belonged to with a sense of closeness and engagement with their alma mater.”

AUB Trustee Abdulsalam Haykal, chair of the Board’s Alumni Affairs Committee, led the university’s team in this effort. “This is an historic moment for AUB and our alumni. Both AAA and WAAAUB have worked hard and in good faith to reach this milestone,” Haykal said. “There are new and innovative models of organizing alumni, but unity and harmony in the alumni body remain the core of effective engagement with the university and for the benefit of alumni in Lebanon and around the world. The agreement is only a beginning.”

Haykal highlighted on the fact that the first step towards this agreement was taken in 2012 when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between AUB and AAA after two weeks of meetings and discussions, building a platform of trust and clarifying the expectations of both parties.

El-Merheby commented on this agreement saying that after years of continuous discussions, this historic cooperation agreement achieved “what was destined to be.” He added that AUB could not have expected less of its alumni than that which was eventually achieved. 

“Our discussions were not of dispute but that of cautiousness over achieving the ideas to conduct affairs,” El-Merheby said. “We will always be committed to our alma mater and to ‘service above self.’ We look forward to a paramount of achievements and hope that the university will support the AAA in developing its clubhouse to be ‘the hub’ of all alumni as it has been always.”  He concluded by thanking all who have contributed to this successful achievement including Dr. Fadlo Khuri as well as Abdulsalam Haykal “for his dedication, patience, and full support, which was the crucial basis that brought this agreement into effect.”

In his turn, Jaroudi said, "On this glorious day, we sign a total understanding agreement between all alumni branches in Lebanon and abroad. Thanks to the university president who was behind this consens​us, to bring together all alumni under the roof of the American University of Beirut with its president and its officials. Thanks to all those who contributed to reaching this consensus. Finally I salute all those who strove and worked to reach this agreement, from university officials and committees to AAA officials, especially friend Fawaz El-Merheby." He concluded: "My friends, let us open a new page from now on, to preserve AUB and its alumni as a mother and its children."