American University of Beirut

George R. Rais’ legacy award recognizes AUB’s top architecture students

Since 2014, three top Architecture students at AUB’s Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture have been receiving the George R. Rais Architecture Award.

In November 2013, Mr. Michel Rais made a generous donation to AUB to establish and endow “The George R. Rais Architecture Award.” The award honors the memory and accomplishments of his brother, famed architect George R. Rais, who was also a faculty member at AUB between 1977 and 1984.

The award recipients are selected by the Department of Architecture and Design’s Administrative Committee, based on their performance during the fall and spring semesters of their second year, and the fall semester of their third year.

The ceremony took was held on March 26, 2018, in the presence of Mr. Anwar Rais (BBA 1968), MSFEA Dean Dr. Alan Shihadeh, Chairperson of the Architecture and Design Department Dr. Mona Harb, Architecture program coordinator, Professor Carla Aramouny, Associate Vice President for Development Walid Katergi, as well as faculty and students. 

Nicholas Gladson Doghlas won first place and was awarded $8,000, Salem Mousa Shamia came in second and received $5,000, and the third place went to Sabine Roger Doueiry who was awarded $3,000.

During the ceremony, Dean Alan Shihadeh reminded the audience of the importance of philanthropy as the steering wheel of AUB. He spoke of Mr. George Rais, and his distinguished career at AUB as faculty member during the civil war years.

Dr. Harb recognized and listed the buildings of Georges Rais in Beirut and abroad: Rais contributed to the building of many important landmarks in the city such as the Pan Am Building in Riad el Solh and Al-Hamra Cinema building, as well as high profile projects in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, and Switzerland.

George Raja Rais, who passed away in 2002, is remembered not only as a master of architectural design, detailing, and construction techniques, but also as an educator and mentor.  During his long and distinguished career, Rais collaborated with and trained leading architects in Lebanon and the region including Assem Salam, Gregoire Serof, Khalil Khoury, Raoul Verney, Rahif Fayad, Lucien Cassia, Jaafar Tukan, Sany Jamal, and Rula Rais.

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