American University of Beirut

Worldwide alumni and friends come together for AUB’s first Giving Day

Office of Advancement,

The original goals were to receive gifts from 250 donors totaling $50,000, which would be matched one-for-one bringing the total to $100,000. Thanks to the enthusiastic response from AUB’s worldwide community of alumni and friends, AUB exceeded those targets before the day began—and so set a new target: 500 donors. AUB alumni and friends responded—again, and in record numbers: 1,050 donors from 26 countries, 34 US states and the District of Columbia, and seven Canadian provinces participate in Giving Day. An impressive 30 percent were first-time donors. Generous matches from Mazen Dajani (BBA '59, MA '69), Abdallah Darwiche (BEN ’75), Trustee Nabil Habayeb (former AUB student 1977-79), Trustee Hisham Jaroudi (BAR '66), Trustee Emerita Ann Z. Kerr-Adams, Trustee Maher Mikati (BBA '01) and Dana Mikati (BBA ’02), and Trustee D. Scott Wise brough the total to $616,822.

AUB’s first Giving Day was a triumph attracting unprecedented support from faculty and staff. It was also, as Vice President for Advancement Imad B. Baalbaki noted, “the longest day in AUB’s 153-year history.” Giving Day offically began at midnight in Beirut on December 2nd and ended 34 hours later: at midnight on the west coast of the US on December 3rd. People started donating, however, as soon as they heard about the initiative. “We were stunned—and thrilled—to receive such an incredible response,” said Baalbaki. “We are happy to raise the money for university educational and healthcare priorities of course, but the primary goal was for all of us—on campus and around the world—to come together on the same day in support of our university. By that measure alone, Giving Day was an overwhelming success.”​

AUB alumni were especially active on Giving Day, rallying support from former classmates to win the Faculty Challenge—a friendly and hotly contested competition to determine which faculty would secure the highest percentage of alumni participation. The Faculty of Health Sciences snagged first prize, followed by the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine. The faculty that attracted the greatest number of alumni donors was the Faculty of Arts and Siences, followed by the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business and the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture tied for third place. “Events like Founders Day—and now Giving Day—are powerful reminders of the values that define our university and that unite our worldwide community,” said Baalbaki. 

AUB Giving Day was celebrated on Founders Day, the occasion each year when the university, in the words of President Fadlo R. Khuri, “honors the founders of our institution, from its small but visionary beginnings in 1866, and celebrates the generations of scholarship, transformative education, and service to communities that followed.” Khuri went on to explain that AUB was “beginning a new tradition this year of holding an annual giving day on the same day as Founders Day in order to reenergize new generations in the spirit of philanthropy which enabled this university to come to being.”

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