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A new beginning: hats off to the Class of 2015!

772 LAU students celebrate their academic success at Byblos campus.

On the night of June 23, the LAU Byblos campus looked like a Broadway set. Video cameras mounted on cranes, telephoto lenses and even a drone stood ready to capture every moment of the Class of 2015’s graduation.

Graduating seniors from the university’s seven schools did not fear the spotlight. Some of them had even prepared some papers with funny lines, which they proudly displayed whenever their image appeared on the screen set behind the stage.

“I sell drugs,” read a sign among the rows of the School of Pharmacy. “Medicine clogs your heart,” another student ironized. 

Even Valedictorian Angela Charbel Saade, who graduated with a GPA of 3.98 from the School of Engineering, could not resist making a joke. “I’ll tell you my secret: it’s all about spinach, Popeye the sailor man was right. Even though I also gained some skills from the courses,” she said in her address to the amused crowd.

On a more serious note, Saade also remembered the days in which financial difficulties threatened to interrupt her academic path. “God loved me enough to allow me to join LAU through a full scholarship,” she said, promising not to forget the help she received.

This year’s ceremony was honored by the visit of Robert Stevens, president of the American Society of Engineers. In his commencement address, he gave the students a powerful reminder of their new professional duties. “You are entering some extraordinary professional communities,” Stevens said. “Some of the greatest problems humanity is facing rely on your professions for a solution,” he added.

At a time where intercultural understanding is more urgent than ever, LAU awarded a honorary doctorate to painter Wajih Nahlé, whose career has aimed to bridge the divide between the Muslim world and the West. Nahlé welcomed the gesture as an “honor” and a stimulus to creativity.

The students were called one by one to collect their diplomas, proudly handed out by the deans of their schools. As the graduates resumed their places, fireworks exploded in a smorgasbord of colors and light, accompanied by the notes of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance graduation walking march.

As it is for so many, graduation is for psychology student Ashley Koura a long awaited moment, but also a dreaded one. “I am excited to start my career, but of course saying goodbye to my fellow students makes me sad,” she shared. For Koura’s father, seeing her graduating at LAU is a dream come true. “I did not attend university and seeing my daughter get a degree makes me extremely proud,” he said.

LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra bade farewell to the 772 graduating students with a list of heartfelt wishes. “May you always find success, happiness, and satisfaction in your future careers,” he said solemnly. “May peace always live in your hearts and in your homes.  May you have true friends to stand by you, both in joy and in sorrow. I have only one request, graduates:  as alumni–to be–of this university, no matter where you are, no matter where you go, no matter what you do, don’t forget LAU.”

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The ceremony owes much of its success to the hard work and dedication of those whose contributions often go unnoticed.

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Behind the scenes: a sneak peek of the immense amount of work it takes to prepare for the commencement exercises!

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Graduating seniors from the university’s seven schools did not fear the spotlight.

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LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra saluting the crowd.

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Valedictorian Angela Charbel Saade, who graduated with a GPA of 3.98, shared the impact LAU has had on her life.

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The Byblos campus looked like a Broadway set, complete with equipment and crowds eager to share in the success of the students.

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The soon-to-be graduates celebrating before the ceremony!

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Painter Wajih Nahlé was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work to bridge the divide between the Muslim world and the West through his art.

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President of the American Society of Engineers Robert Stevens addressed the graduates, reminding them of their duties to the greater community.

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Dr. Jabbra bade farewell to the graduating students, wishing them success, happiness, and satisfaction in their future careers.

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