Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

Innovation is the key

Last month I traveled to Houston, Texas with Dr. Jabbra for a series of meetings that we had there on behalf of the university. In one of those meetings Dr. Jabbra made the statement that “the future will belong to the innovators.” It was a straight-forward and succinct thing to say but I couldn’t get it out of my head for the rest of the trip!
I started thinking about what “innovation” really means and what it looks like to be an innovator. It’s a constant battle to be innovative, yet it’s also exciting and exhilarating at the same time.
The Advancement division at LAU, and indeed the entire university, has spent a lot of time, energy and money doing innovative things over the past several years. Take our website, for example. It’s no secret that nearly everything that you can think of has migrated online in recent years. Just about anything now can be done online and we’ve been working hard to make the virtual presence of LAU more useful and easier to use for everyone. Just recently, for example, our Marketing and Communications team put all of our publications online so that anyone can see back issues of LAU Magazine or look at our academic catalogs and president’s reports. Members of our team also helped design and create the university’s redesigned libraries website which offers an incredibly user-friendly interface to help visitors navigate through LAU’s library system and access its databases.
We’re also finding innovative new ways to communicate with our students, friends and alumni. Over the last year or so we’ve wretched up our social media presence at LAU offering thousands of people an opportunity to receive information and communicate with us about all sorts of things. We also inaugurated an annual event last year called Yalla! (See the story on the sidebar) which is a unique combination of a long road trip and a series of alumni events with a fundraising campaign rolled in.  Our alumni team has also developed new and innovative ways to start connecting with students before they graduate from LAU through collaboration with the university’s guidance office.
But the real key to being innovative is to never stop being innovative. We must always strive to improve what we’re doing and to think of new and effective ways to connect with each other, get our message out and make things happen. I’m proud of the innovations that we have achieved over the past few years, both within the Advancement division and throughout the university, but we still have a long way to go. I call on each one of us to remember Dr. Jabbra’s statement in Houston and keep in mind that the future will indeed belong to the innovators.
Thanks for all of your hard work.


Rich Rumsey


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