NNA - The American University of Beirut (AUB) President's Club held its annual gala dinner to raise funds for its upcoming initiatives in support of AUB students and a well-accommodated campus life. During the event, AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri announced the launching of the Advance Student Scholarship Initiative.
The new scholarship initiative will provide overall coverage of 80 percent of tuition fees for up to 130 of the most academically gifted students from the 26 districts of Lebanon starting next year. President Khuri considered the initiative "consistent with [AUB's] strong commitment for educating the brightest young students," and added, "Doing good in our Arab milieu is in fact our very purpose, our raison d'être."
President Khuri encouraged the audience of dignitaries, AUB community, and University friends to join efforts to double the funds raised by the President's Club to better make an impact within the region.
"We are a university of enormous influence and impact-all the more so for the fact we are seated in a region that is otherwise known for decadence and internecine conflict," said President Khuri. "We cannot shy away from that and part of it is by being all accountable."
The Club's president, Mona Khalaf highlighted in her speech the Club's achievements in the past academic year and the theme that the President's Club focused on during that year: the impact of coeducation at AUB on national and regional levels. Khalaf presented the booklet produced by the Club reviewing the student publication, Outlook, to trace the path that women at AUB followed throughout history. After speaking about AUB women's gradual admission to the various faculties and professional schools, their access to campus spaces, and their involvement in extracurricular activities and the issues they faced over the years, Khalaf discussed AUB's current approach in supporting a liberal-minded education and in nurturing proper gender equality in the region.
"I have no doubt that President Khuri, given his purposiveness and determination, coupled with a good dose of optimism, will be able to achieve the target that he has set for himself," said Mona Khalaf. "Mr. President, I can't tell you how much your vision and leadership mean to us. In the name of women at AUB and of AUB, I would like to express to you our deep gratitude."
The President's Club gala dinner is a major fund-raising event to finance the Club's future projects. Established at AUB in 1981, the Club aims at enhancing the quality of life for students at AUB.
During fiscal year 2016-2017, members of the Club's administrative board secured the necessary funds to renovate the Research Lab Space of the Department of Psychology and a room in Van Dyck Hall to better accommodate FHS graduate students. It also supported the AUB Choir and Choral Society's performance of G. F. Handel's Messiah and funded the AUB Choir trip to Switzerland. The Club has supported Art History students during their trip to Athens, and has sponsored the International Sports Tournament that took place in October 2016.