Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

Inside The Legacy and the Promise

Though The Legacy and the Promise, LAU’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, is at its halfway point it has already improved the lives of students, faculty and staff by providing valuable support for financial aid and merit scholarships, funding the construction of valuable new additions to our campuses and strengthening our academic foundation through endowed professorships. As the campaign continues, it will continue to provide the support for the university to complete its plans to remake its campuses and provide new opportunities for generations to come.
The Frem Civic Center under construction on the Byblos campus
One of the campaign’s most notable legacies is the Frem Civic Center, which is nearly complete, on the Byblos campus. In many ways, this new building embodies LAU’s commitment to its students, building its infrastructure and supporting a broad range of practical scholarship on the university’s campuses. The new, state-of-the-art facility will sit adjacent to a new medical school that is also under construction in Byblos and will house a number of the university’s institutes and will become the focal point for courses, seminars, and conferences on important themes such as ethics, leadership, citizenship, transparency, tolerance and democracy—all areas of vital importance that will make pragmatic contributions to Lebanon and the region.
The new library and administration building that is being built near the Frem Civic Center on the Byblos campus won’t look anything like dusty book depositories of the past. The six-story building, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, is envisioned as an information commons, featuring a comprehensive repository of print and digital information resources. Technology will be pervasive in the library, including full electronic links to the Riyad Nassar Library on the Beirut campus.
Last September, LAU admitted the inaugural class of students into its new medical school on the Byblos campus. Additionally, construction on the state-of-the-art facility is currently underway. In the words of founding dean Dr. Kamal Badr, the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine was “conceived and designed to create a new physician, one who is superbly trained in the skills of 21st century medicine, but who believes deeply that a physician is, above all, a merciful healer.” The 25 pioneering students currently enrolled at the school and the beneficiaries of one of the most modern and progressive forms of medical education available today.
Not all of the university’s capital projects involve the building of new structures. The business school on the Beirut campus has benefited from new “smart-classroom” technology that was installed to provide state-of-the-art integration between teaching and learning. Smart classrooms fully integrate technology into the learning process, ensuring that students have access to the latest instructional techniques and gain a mastery of the technology that will be an integral part of their adult lives—an important aspect for students in any discipline but of particular importance for those students trying to get a handle on the fast-changing world of business.
The campaign is also helping LAU by providing direct support to students in addition to giving them better places to study. By providing financial aid to qualified applicants, LAU can ensure that its student body remains diverse ­- a goal of paramount importance. To achieve this goal, the university must make it possible to admit as many qualified students as it can, regardless of their ability to pay tuition. Financial aid and merit scholarships play an important role in reaching this objective. LAU has also quadrupled the number of merit scholarships that it provides—from 10 to more than 40. Business student Farah Chihadeh is very clear that without such a scholarship she would have had to get two jobs to be able to afford tuition.
The establishment of several endowed scholarships—from donors like Yvonne Aajine Kabban, Ghada Boulos, Allan and Reda Riley and others—will help supply a first-class, American education for many students for years to come.
Like any university, LAU’s backbone is built on exceptional teaching professionals, and with a wide range of excellent faculty LAU is making a difference, not only in the lives of its students, but around the globe, thanks to the valuable research being conducted outside of the classroom. Dr. Pierre Zalloua, a renowned geneticist who is a principal investigator with the worldwide Genographic Project (which is sponsored by National Geographic), is examining the legacy and origins of the people of the Middle East, and training a new generation of young scientists at LAU.
Though the campaign itself is only temporary, its effects are long term. The new additions that LAU’s supporters secure through this campaign will benefit students, Lebanon, and the cause of education for many years to come. The new additions to our campuses, for example, will leave a long-lasting gift to the students who will use and benefit from them for generations to come, while the addition of merit scholarships is a powerful way to address the need for affordability in higher education while rewarding ambition. With this campaign, Lebanese American University is truly making a difference in the lives of students and in the world that they live in.

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