LAU’s spectacular evening in New York City
On April 15th LAU held its second annual gala at The Pierre Hotel in midtown
One way that LAU manages to use the gala for this purpose is by recognizing members of the
community for their public service. This year the university honored educator and humanitarian Suad Juffali, the managing director of the Ahmed Juffali Benevolent Foundation, and business giant Ray Irani, chairman and CEO of Occidental Petroleum. Both were recognized for their public service with the Sarah Award (named after Sarah Huntington Smith, the American woman who founded the school in the 1830s that eventually became LAU).
Suad Juffali, a 1954 graduate of Beirut College for Women (as LAU was then known), has spent nearly sixty years committed to issues related to social welfare in the Middle East and beyond. In
“My alma mater was the guiding star of my life,” Juffali said. “It prepared me to pursue my dreams, my aspirations…it taught me the value of education and how to invest in human beings. The university provided me with a passion to make things happen and to never give up.”
Ray Irani is best known for his role at Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), transforming the chemical producer during his time at the company. Irani helped turn the company around as a director in the 1980s and became chairman and CEO in 1990. Under his leadership, Oxy has become the fourth-largest oil and gas company in
The gala provides LAU with a valuable opportunity to connect with its vast community of
supporters from around the world, as well as providing a chance to introduce the university to a broader network of new people. In attendance were Lebanon’s Ambassador to the United Nations Nawaf Salam (whom LAU honored at last year’s gala), noted financial expert and author Nassim Taleb, legendary Lebanese journalist May Chidiac, and Lebanese Consulate General in New York Antoine Azzam. The event was emceed by media personality and LAU alumna Octavia Nasr.
“Our goal is to build this gala into something more than just an event,” says
And by all accounts this year’s event surpassed the inaugural event last year.
“We were exceptionally pleased with every aspect of this year’s gala,”
In this issue:
- Around the World:
President Jabbra on American higher education in the Middle East
LAU to highlight alumni authors at unique event
- Talent Spotlight:
Seasoned fundraiser joins LAU as Assistant Vice President for Development
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