Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
“While philanthropy is the backbone of AUB, it is also a key part of its heart, as many of our community members are active in the service of others,” said President Fadlo Khuri in his welcoming remarks at the annual Fingerprints reception that took place on Friday, June 1 at AUB’s Marquand House.
This event was in honor of graduating students who have donated $25 or more in support of the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund. Proceeds of this scholarship fund are used to provide support for students with financial constraints.
“While you’re considering what you’re going to do next you’re actually doing the most important thing, which is that you’re laying the basis for future generations to help build more inclusive, fairer, more just societies,” said Khuri. “And by doing so you’re echoing the words of the founder of the university, Daniel Bliss when he said, ‘We were not anxious to appear great, but we were anxious to lay foundations upon which greatness could be built.’ So, Fingerprints is a key part of the process of building foundations.”
Established in 2002, Fingerprints is the only student fundraising program at AUB. It has also been supported by different trustees over the years, including the late Kamal Shair, Ali Ghandour, Farouk Jabre, and Omar Alfardan. This year, Trustee Randa Haffar will match every dollar donated by a student to the fund with two dollars of her own, reaching up to $20,000. The University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) has also provided important support for Fingerprints in prior years, and it will be voting soon on a match similar to Haffar’s.
Vice President for Advancement Imad Baalbaki spoke at the reception about the support that the fund has received. “So far more than 500 spring graduates have contributed to Fingerprints, about 40 percent of the Class of 2018 for this season.” He added, “These Class of 2018 donors join the more than 14,000 graduates who have contributed to the Fingerprints program since inception. It is because of this remarkable support that the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund is currently valued at $1.9 million, and has aided 262 students and counting.”
Students who have received the scholarship also spoke during the reception, sharing their experiences with this year’s donors. Third-year business administration student Rawad Abi Zeid said, “Fingerprints differentiates itself from other scholarships in that it is from students for students, and it would be therefore appropriate to express my gratitude to the Class of 2018; as it is indeed because of similar generosity that the experience we had turned out to be the way it was.”
Sabine Doueiry, who is a fourth-year architecture student shared, “I have dared to dream because of the scholarship aid that I receive. I want to become an architect to serve the people. I am so lucky to have found a way to use my creativity, to do what I love, in an effort to serve others. I am also so lucky to have people believe in me and in my ability to make a change if I’m given a chance.”
Students then joined the president and Dr. Baalbaki in cutting the cake and taking a commemorative picture, before enjoying the rest of the reception.