From the President’s DeskMore in this issue
The destiny and duty of an academic institution are inextricably linked to the community it serves. In times of crises, what sets a university apart is not how well it weathers the storms or mitigates their damage whenever possible. Rather, it is its long-term view, anchored in a steadfast commitment to the country and its people.
LAU has faced many such moments in its long history, challenging the norm by educating women, showing resilience in times of adversity and bolstering higher education for all – Against All Odds.
Spring 2020 will be marked by the publication of the first-ever commemorative book on LAU’s past and present, tracing its rise from a modest school for girls to the powerhouse that it is today. Collated from testimonials of alumni, faculty, staff and archival material, the book – from which we have included a few excerpts in this issue – brings to life some of the university’s most difficult as well as most rewarding moments, many of which mirrored those of our beloved Lebanon.
Once again, we find ourselves in a socio-economic climate that calls for us to act and to help come up with solutions across our academic, research and advancement areas.
At the stage where the economic, social and environmental crises could still be averted, we asked our esteemed faculty to weigh in on lifelines that may pull our economy out of its stalemate, and what expertise they and their students were lending.
Since then, however, the situation has taken a turn for the worse, with severe financial hardship threatening to deprive our youth of the education they deserve. These young men and women, who will embody and carry LAU’s values into the future, desperately need every assistance possible. We have, therefore, launched an emergency financial aid fund to help both prospective and enrolled students, which I urge you to consider.
The special supplement, which coincidentally fell under this issue’s theme, provides an academic perspective on the October 17 uprising as this momentous event in Lebanon’s living history was unfolding.
As you leaf through this issue, you will more than likely find each of our society’s concerns being addressed by the LAU community. From education to underserved yet outstanding students, innovative learning, empowering local communities in the face of the refugee crisis, to disease prevention – none have escaped our attention.
Education wields great power, and we have long pledged to draw on our resources, research and ability to educate everyone equally for the benefit of our community and our country.
That is, after all, our purpose and mission.
Joseph G. Jabbra