Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

You’ve got to have goals

Last September at LAU’s Board of Trustee’s meeting in Pasadena, California the chairman of the board, Dr. Charles Elachi, made the point that he’d like to see an increase in the number of alumni who give back to their university. Historically LAU has had very low alumni participation rates and Dr. Elachi gave the administrators of LAU the goal of formulating a plan to change that. While this may sound like a simple thing to do—attacking an issue head on by setting a goal—it is one of the most important and fundamental things that anyone can engage in.
We’ve taken the chairman’s directive head on and we have indeed created a plan that we’re calling “Project 10.” It’s an ambitious plan that will become a component of our current comprehensive fundraising campaign The Legacy and The Promise and it involves a wide range of team members from across our division, including alumni, development, communications and advancement services members from both Lebanon and the United States. The “10” in Project 10 is our goal: we’d like to see 10% of our reachable alumni giving to LAU by the end of the campaign in 2012. This number represents a very large increase from our current participation rate but it’s a goal that would put us in line with other universities, including AUB, and without an actual goal to shoot for we wouldn’t know what we were trying to achieve or how to start the process for getting there.
Setting professional goals—both as a team and as individuals—is an important ingredient for achieving success. But one of the most exciting aspects of Project 10 for me is how it has gotten our entire division, across continents and across areas of professional focus, to work together on a singular, integral goal.  Working this way makes it easier to see how, through our collective strength, we can accomplish great things. A few years ago President Jabbra and the leaders on LAU’s Board of Trustees and Board of International Advisors set out to get LAU fully accredited by NEASC. It was a massive goal that required the full commitment of the entire university community. Yet we achieved accreditation in record time because of our collective power. This experience has taught each of us the importance not only of having worthwhile goals but of working together to reach them.


Rich Rumsey

Rich March.jpg

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