From the President’s DeskMore in this issue
Welcome to the Winter 2019 edition of the LAU Magazine & Alumni Bulletin. This issue’s highlights are twofold. Firstly, it includes a contribution by one of our own, an alumnus who has done so much for his country and continues to do so every day, Lebanese Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief General Joseph Aoun. His letter to our graduates resonates with leadership mantras which I invite you to read very carefully.
Secondly, this issue’s theme is To Our Health. Health is a major issue on almost everyone’s mind. Across LAU, our faculty and students are working hard to explore these topics, and we are excited to share with you a broad and nuanced view of health by exploring how it applies in Lebanon in general, and at LAU in particular.
There’s our physical health, of course, but we can point to other kinds of health that impact the comfort and quality of our lives. Financial health, for example, is tied strongly to people’s levels of satisfaction and feelings of self-determination. Meanwhile, mental health, though a taboo subject in many places, is happily becoming a topic publicly explored and researched, so that we can find ways to make people’s minds healthy as well as their bodies. And then there is social health, a phenomenon that can be achieved by creating spaces where people feel included, engaged and empowered – similar to what we strive to create on our campuses.
Here at LAU, we take all types of health seriously. Most obviously, our health sciences schools – the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing, and the School of Pharmacy – pour their energy and resources into producing groundbreaking research that will not only advance the health sciences fields, but also help countless patients gain better prognoses. This is aside from the work of the Nutrition Program, whose faculty research the role of our diets in disease and wellness.
In our other schools, we have faculty immersed in the study of mental health and the impact of diseases such as depression on different segments of the population, and others working to understand the best forms of outreach to vulnerable groups that are more at risk of psychological trauma.
And all of us have worked hard to make our university and all its constituent schools, institutions and offices socially healthy spaces in which our students, faculty, staff, guests and friends feel enlightened and inspired. One of the ways we do this is by embracing our role as a strong, independent institution with a great sense of social responsibility to the members of our family and the communities outside our gates.
All of this is to say that health comes in many forms and achieving it has benefits beyond one person.
So to members of our community and others across this country, I wish you good health – in every way.
Joseph G. Jabbra