A celebration of service and excellence

​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications, ss152@aub.edu.lb


A university-wide celebration took place at the AUB Assembly Hall in recognition of long-serving employees and those who performed over and above their set duties at AUB. Marking 50 years granting Service Awards (SAs) and 18 years of President’s Service Excellence Awards (PSAs), the ceremony brought an appreciative president, proud deans and supervisors, and delighted colleagues and family, together with the honored staff of the university and its medical center. 

“This is the day in the year that we celebrate the most devoted, dependable, and steadfast members of our community; the people who keep this university running through good times and bad; who do it not for attention or applause,” said AUB President Fadlo Khuri. “They do it because they believe in AUB and they want it to succeed for the good of its students and the societies around us, in Lebanon, the Arab world, and beyond.” 

Through nominations, committees, subcommittees, high criteria, and shortlists based on unanimous voting, the following received the President’s Service Excellence award this year out of 23 nominees: Rawad Jamaleddine, patient safety officer at AUBMC; Maha Hamad, students finance manager at the Comptroller’s Office; Maher Kassab, IT Manager at the University Libraries; and Henry Matthews, translator and editor at the Office of Communications. 

“This whole institution is my big family and AUB supported me through many difficulties,” said Jamaleddine who proudly added that he started his career at AUB as a clerk in 2004 and continued his education until he received his master’s degree at AUB in public health to become nursing quality manager and now patient safety officer. “I was able to achieve and develop a lot here and this always motivates me to give back.”

The PSA was first awarded in the year 2000 to four employees, based on their continuous and outstanding service. To date, eighty five employees have been awarded in appreciation of their contributions to help students, patients, and colleagues. 

Maha Hamad, who studied at AUB during 1983-88, was offered a job in 1990 at the comptroller’s office as the country was recovering from the civil war. “Although I had not thought of this as my career and it was not my field, I found myself here,” said Hamad. “I decided to take courses in accounting at AUB’s business school. I wanted to excel at my work, and I did! 

“The satisfaction of succeeding at my projects and helping others motivated me to give more. I do my best to help or guide students with financial disabilities to secure more funds or construct a plan that enables them to complete their education. Of course I must go beyond my duties when students are only a step away from achieving their dream. We find solutions.”

The 2017 service awards were presented to 76 employees who completed 30, 35, 40, or 45 years of work at the university or medical center.  President Khuri presented the honorees with medals, accompanied by Dr. Ziyad Ghazzal, deputy EVP and associate dean for clinical affairs, and Syndicate President George Jurdi.

Representing Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh, executive vice president for medicine and global strategy, Dr. Ghazzal gave an overview of past, present, and future AUBMC initiatives “supported by its staff’s enthusiasm and high commitment to provide the highest criteria of care, teaching, and research that all revolve around the patient’s wellbeing.”

“Over many years, you have witnessed the transformation and continued growth of this institution and you contributed to motivating us to further develop,” said Ghazzal. “You are an integral component of AUBMC vision 2020 and the mission to not only make history but also shape the future.”
Proposed by the Workers and Staff Syndicate, the idea of awarding employees for their years of service, was embraced in 1868 by AUB’s seventh president, Samuel Kirkwood, to celebrate milestones following 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 years of continuous service.

“The love and loyalty of AUB’s employees keep AUB going despite all challenges over the years,” said Jurdi who went over the syndicate’s agenda and next steps. “We fully trust that AUB will continue to be the lighthouse for this country and region, and through AUB, together, we will continue to shine.”

Cheers from family and friends echoed inside Assembly Hall. The awardees were delighted to see the team mates who nominated them stand up clapping, whistling, and waving balloons when their names were called out. 

“I do not expect rewards or acknowledgement, I have received so much more from AUB already,” said Maher Kassab who worked through the growth of AUB’s IT infrastructure. “The exposure, the opportunities, the experience here have been unparalleled, and they made my professional career. I don’t limit myself to job descriptions. I owe much to AUB. I am only trying to pay part of what I owe.”

The honorees see it as only logical to give all they can to this institution. Just knowing that they work with teams that unanimously and wholeheartedly nominated them as excellent employees of AUB made it all worthwhile.

“I have been a cog in the machine and I did my job,” said Henry Matthews. “I am proud and happy to be given this award by AUB, my “country”, my home, and my oasis, for thirty years. AUB was built with love and this explains its strength. Love is stronger than stone and cement.”​