Lebanese American University

Update: Advancement

Through the generations

We are lucky that an institution like ours has a long memory. Last month I spoke about the camaraderie LAU enjoys with our students, alumni, faculty and staff members from around the world and how each of us is working to improve the institution and the state of education in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Shortly after our last issue of Update Advancement went out I received a kind note from Professor Mona Khalaf, one of many faculty members who faithfully served LAU for decades as it grew and changed. Prof. Khalaf gently reminded me of the valuable contribution that retirees and former faculty and staff members make to the university as well. Since we have been providing educational opportunity to people from throughout the Middle East and all over the world since the 19th century, our institution is fortunate enough to be able to look back on a long list of people who have helped us get to where we are today. 

And LAU still benefits from their input and advice today. Our retirees are part of the Retiree’s Circle, an advisory group made up of experienced faculty members and administrators who cherish their ties to LAU long after they have left their offices or classrooms. Here in North America, we also benefit from people like Rev. Robert Stoddard, who worked for LAU from the United States for almost two decades. As a retiree, Stoddard was the one who reminded us of our link to Sarah Huntington Smith and her journey to Beirut in the 1830s, in fact he gave lectures on the topic in Lebanon not long ago and he’s working on a book about Sarah as well. LAU is clearly enriched by the continued commitment and dedication of retirees like Prof Khalaf and Rev Stoddard, as well as many others. Clearly LAU is in their blood and for this we are enormously grateful and proud.

We recently celebrated LAU’s legacy at our inaugural gala, which proved a tremendous success in North America.  It was a wonderful opportunity for generations of our university to meet and note its success. Alumni and current students were able to mingle with former and current administrators and professors, as LAU introduced itself to a new crowd in North America. For those who remember LAU as a different institution, the gala provided them with an opportunity to see just how far their community has spread, and what that community can do to further the cause of education around the world. It was truly a night to remember.



Rich Rumsey

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