American Univesity of Beirut

Current Recipients

Hanan al-Shaykh, one of the most acclaimed award-winning writers in the contemporary Arab world ​
Doctorate in Humane Letters
Hagop Kantarjian, world leader in leukemia treatment ​
Doctorate in Humane Letters
Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation​
Doctorate in Humane Letters
Fawwaz Ulaby, pioneering researcher in the area of radar remote sensing has been foundational, informing theory and practice​
Doctorate in Humane Letters



May 7, 2019

Dear Members of the AUB Community, 

I am pleased to share with you the names of this year's recipients of AUB's honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. These four difference-makers will be awarded AUB's highest honors at the 150th commencement exercises on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Our honorands for this year are instigators who question prevalent and conventional thinking, challenge how we view the world, and improve how we live it. They capture the essence of AUB's mission in boldly serving the world with unconventional liberal thought, striving for fair and inclusive access to health and education, and offering innovation and knowledge for a sustainable, abundant present and future: Internationally acclaimed novelist, journalist, and playwright Hanan al-Shaykh; renowned physician and leukemia specialist Hagop Kantarjian; advocate of the vulnerable and president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation Reeta Roy; and distinguished professor and pioneer in radar remote sensing Fawwaz Ulaby.

Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh is one of the most acclaimed award-winning writers in the contemporary Arab world whose work has been translated into 21 languages and is published around the world. She is known for her brilliant portrayal of the Lebanese/Arab psyche and the plight of the repressed women's condition in the Arab world. She has been commended by many, including Edward Said and Salman Rushdie, as she calmly challenges the norm and looks, unrestricted, at real and present relationships between the sexes, power struggles, and patriarchal control.

Hagop Kantarjian (BS '75, MD '79) is a world leader in leukemia research and treatment who has saved countless lives and changed the outcomes for people living with this debilitating and deadly disease. He is widely acclaimed as one of the most productive clinical translational cancer researchers of our time and heads the largest leukemia practice in the US. He holds the Samsung Distinguished Leukemia Chair in Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and has led a multi-year campaign to lower the cost of cancer drugs.

Reeta Roy is the president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, known for its global reach and impact in helping the disadvantaged. Under her leadership, the foundation has focused its work in Africa and committed more than $2.2 billion to advance education and financial inclusion across the continent. Today, it is one of the world's largest foundations, with $26 billion in assets and its programs have improved the lives of more than 33 million people and their families. Roy is the recipient of several honorary doctorate degrees and numerous international awards.

Fawwaz Ulaby (BS '64) has made groundbreaking contributions in the area of radar remote sensing and is the Emmett Leith Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. His pioneering research has led to the development of high-resolution satellite radar sensors with a wide range of applications, from communications to medical diagnoses and assessing the effects of climate change. He helped design the first radar to fly on a satellite and has directed many interdisciplinary projects for NASA.

Inquisitive about the world's present and future and determinedly innovative in their contribution of sustainable solutions for the advantage of all, these inspirational leaders serve as symbols of the AUB way. We welcome them as they join AUB's distinguished list of honorary doctoral degree recipients​

Best regards,
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD

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