American Univesity of Beirut

The transformative power of philanthropy on display at annual scholarship reception

​​Dana Abed, Office of Advancement,​

Every year, the President’s Scholarship Reception is an opportunity for AUB students receiving donor-funded scholarships to meet the philanthropists who contribute to their education.  

The 2018 reception took place on Thursday, April 26, in the Mahmoud Malhas Common Room of AUB’s West Hall. More than 70 donors and around 230 scholarship recipients attended the event. 

During the ceremony, President Fadlo Khuri emphasized the importance of education beyond the classrooms, and its transformative impact on our students. 

“We are starting to think about it being more than just an education but an experience.
You leave here more competent, more capable, and more convinced that you can make a difference,” said Khuri. “Currently the amount of financial aid that a student receives per year on average is $9,000 and we are continuously working on increasing it.” 

Alumnus and major supporter Farid Al Azem (BA ‘74) was guest speaker at the reception. He addressed the students and donors, sharing his journey from AUB student to successful businessman and philanthropist in the region and beyond.

“Learning would take you, my young friends, to anywhere you want to go. Learn and work hard and you will go places,” said Al Azem, addressing the students. 

He also shared two wishes for the students upon their graduation: “to help at least another student and to participate in the reconstruction of our country [Syria], once it starts, which I hope is very soon.” 

Al Azem graduated from AUB with a BA in 1974, and went on to become the chairman of Keystone Group Holding, which provides real estate services. In 2014, Al Azem generously established the Abdul Rahman Al Azem Scholarship Fund which provides full scholarships to Syrian students at AUB. 

Two students, both scholarship recipients, shared their heartfelt words with the audience.

Ibrahim Mikati, who is in his first year of medicine and is the recipient of the Yumna Hoss Sukkar Scholarship, spoke about the unexpected moments that could change your life, from not knowing how to manage to pay the tuition fees, to having your dreams come true through the generosity of a philanthropist. 

Speaking next was Sarah El Koury, who is in her third year of business and is the recipient of the Transmed Scholarship.

“When I first got accepted at AUB, it was the best news I have ever received, yet the most stressful at the same time. It’s not easy for one to talk about their financial condition in front of everyone, it was even hard to think about it alone,” said El Khoury. “What I can share with you, however, is the relief I felt when one night I received an email from AUB informing me of the Transmed Scholarship that I was granted.”

The donors and the students spent the rest of the evening networking and conversing.

For more information about scholarships at AUB, please visit​development/gift-opportunities/Pages/scholarships.aspx​.

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