Class of 2019 Up for the ChallengeMore in this issue
LAU’s 94th Commencement Exercises celebrated more than 2,000 graduates across its seven schools. The university also presented Honorary Doctorates in Humane Letters to three outstanding individuals who embody the university’s drive to empower women and the principle of giving back: Minister of Interior Raya Haffar El-Hassan, LAU’s own former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Philip Stoltzfus, and former Member of LAU’s Board of International Advisors and Board of Trustees Mike Ahmar.
“It will be up to you, Class of 2019, uniquely gifted by your Lebanese heritage, armed with your LAU degrees, to ensure that the blessing of the technological miracle is not hijacked by social discord. I have a simple suggestion – through service.”
Philip Stoltzfus, CEO of Thayer Brook Partners and grandson of the late William Stoltzfus, who was one of the founding fathers of LAU, having headed the American Junior College for Women for some of the most active years in its history.
“I would like to salute the founding fathers [of LAU] for their landmark vision to establish a college for women – a vision that laid the foundation for the achievement of gender parity in higher education and contributed to advancing women’s rights in Lebanon.”
Raya Haffar El-Hassan, Minister of Interior and Municipalities, whose own career was distinguished by notable firsts in Lebanon and the Arab World as a woman in key ministerial positions.
“What you have learned will complement the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the Lebanese people. It is this very spirit that allows the Lebanese to thrive around the world, no matter what they do or where they go.”
Mohamed (Mike) Ahmar, President of Ahmar Investment Inc. and Founder and Executive Board Chairman of Partners Bank of California, who drew from his own experience as an entrepreneur with Lebanese roots.
“I look at graduation as an opportunity to grow, grow in our wisdom, grow in our strength and to grow in our resolve to do good.”
Zahia Eid, biology graduate and class valedictorian at the Byblos campus ceremony.
“I urge you to become aware of Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”
Ahmad Ismail, biology graduate and class valedictorian at the Beirut campus ceremony for the Schools of Architecture and Design and Arts and Sciences.
“Thank you, faculty members, for sharing with us your knowledge and expertise in order to equip us with the right tools to successfully meet the challenging job market.”
Fatima Lama Muhiedli, class valedictorian at the Beirut campus ceremony for the Adnan Kassar School of Business.
The Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine Hooding Ceremony and Residents Graduation had a dual celebratory purpose: a group of medical students made their transition to becoming full physicians, and residents were ready to take on the next steps in their medical career.
“With [LAU graduates], we dream that Lebanon can return to the golden trio of being the ‘Hospital of the East,’ the ‘Library of the East,’ and the ‘University of the East.’”
Akram Chehayeb, Minister of Education and Higher Education and keynote speaker at the ceremony.
“We adapt to working in the gray area where the true art of medicine resides. We have prepared ourselves to sacrifice ourselves to the service of others. LAU has encouraged us to do our best and has shown us the way to becoming well-rounded people.”
Adam Abdel-Ella Fawaz, class valedictorian.
“Conscience is what makes human doctors better than robots. As doctors, our conscience should not only be our ability to differentiate right from wrong, but rather, it should be the mouse and the keyboard of our everyday actions.”
Dr. Jad Maamari, graduating residents’ class speaker
The Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing (ARCSON) honored its graduating class at the Recognition and Pinning Ceremony.
“[LAU] has made you more cultured and well-rounded individuals with heightened compassion and empathy that will allow you to improve humanity. Keep a place in your heart for those who need help. You are the future of Lebanon.”
Dr. Mouna Haraoui, Founder and President of the Chronic Care Center and the Lebanese Heritage Foundation, and keynote speaker.
“It is our responsibility to be agents of change in the nursing profession and in our communities. This requires us to be knowledgeable healthcare providers, holistic caregivers, and most importantly, advocates for our patients.”
Meghry Kevork, class representative.