Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
AUB brought together its alumni and their families in a series of events that took place between June 26 and 29, 2019. Over four days, a record number of alumni came back to their alma mater from different parts of Lebanon and the world, to celebrate memories and enjoy a colorful program with friends and family.
The reunion kicked off with a dazzling sold-out concert by renowned musician, composer, and pianist Guy Manoukian, accompanied by his musicians and singers. More than 1,350 alumni and friends enjoyed a night full of a variety of Arabic, folk, and opera music in the beautiful setting of AUB's Green Oval.
During the honoring ceremony held at a fully packed Assembly Hall, more than 300 alumni were honored with commemorative medals. Alumni celebrating more than 55 years, 50 years (class of 1969), and 25 years (class of 1994) since graduation, received their medals at the annual ceremony. Two special groups, the class of MD 1989 and class of 2009, also joined this year's ceremony, celebrating their 30th and 10th anniversaries respectively.
“When we honor you, we are also honoring our university and the power of the connection that we share that transcends not just years, but great geographic distances," said President Fadlo Khuri during his speech at the ceremony. “I hear from many of our alumni, and from faculty and staff as well—many of whom are first and foremost alumni—that their connection with AUB has had a profound impact on their lives, not just on the career paths they chose, but even more importantly, on the values that guide their lives."
Khuri also spoke about the university's recently developed strategic vision VITAL 2030 and how it is especially important during these times to hold fast to what has made AUB great, its liberal arts ethos in education, excellence in research, compassionate commitment to medical care for all, abiding commitment to Lebanon and the Arab world, and, at the top of the list, its alumni. “It is our alumni's contributions, their commitment, and their abiding loyalty that make AUB such a very special institution."
Khuri concluded by saying, “This is the right time for AUB to recommit itself to Lebanon, the Arab world, and beyond. There is so much that needs to be done. I want AUB to be out front of all of these efforts. We are prepared to lead. We are counting on you as we embark on this mission."
Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Salma Dannawi Oueida welcomed the attendees. “My favorite thing about reunion is that I get to witness all of you become twenty-year-old students again: reconnecting with your classmates as if you had never left campus. But of course, now, instead of dreams, I see nostalgia and instead of expectations, I see accomplishments."
“Through the Office of Alumni Relations, we work hard to build strong ties among alumni of AUB and foster their connection with the university. I would like to thank all of you for your keen participation as well as the support you have always given to your alma mater. We are grateful to all of you who made financial gifts to the
Class Reunion Scholarship Fund. This fund is supporting needy and bright students," Oueida continued.
“It is true that our occupations often take us away from AUB, but we truly never leave," said the president of the AUB Alumni Association (AAA) Hicham Jaroudi (BAR '66). “The more I give, the prouder I become knowing that I am one of many who are supporting our alma mater, this hub of knowledge in the Middle East."
Nagi Khouri (BA '67, MD '71), interim president of the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB (WAAAUB), then stated, “Our university needs every one of us: first, as as donors to BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve, but also as mentors for AUB students, to help them find training and recruitment opportunities."
Faysal El Khalil (BA '69), one of the leading entrepreneurs in West Africa, delivered his keynote speech on behalf of the class of 1969. He stressed , “There can be no doubt that my years at AUB and particularly what I experienced during 1969 was a turning point that shaped my life significantly." Carla Habib Murad (BS '91, MS '94), renowned nutritionist and entrepreneur and keynote speaker on behalf of the class of 1994, ended her speech by highlighting her “gratitude and appreciation to a university that forged my knowledge and my personality. Wherever I go, I bring my college experiences with me, as I am proud to be an AUB graduate."
The ceremony ended with a group picture on the Main Gate stairs and a reception at the Assembly Hall Plaza, followed by an alumni party at the Green Oval where graduates along with their friends and family danced the night to the sound of live entertainment.
The reunion activities continued over the days that followed with a dinner party, where more than 400 attendees enjoyed a performance by Lebanese artist Joseph Attieh in an authentic Lebanese atmosphere. The celebrations concluded with a family day out to Jezzine, organized in coordination with the Nature Conservation Center at AUB.
Check out the pictures on Flickr