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Congratulations, LAU Byblos

July 5, 2013—

Feelings of pride, excitement and unity swept through the LAU Byblos campus on the evening of July 4, as over 600 undergraduates and graduates from various disciplines walked on stage to receive their hard-earned degrees.

History was made that night, as LAU celebrated two landmarks: its first class from the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine and the inaugural class from the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing.

“This is a dream come true. Both achievements constitute a milestone in the growth of LAU which has become an academic powerhouse, taking its right place in the constellation of leading institutions of higher education in Lebanon, the MENA region and beyond,” said LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra.

Jabbra wished the graduates success, happiness and fulfillment in their lives and future careers. “May peace always live in your hearts and your homes … May you be wise, strong, gentle and forgiving,” he said.

Khaled Merhi, proud father of business graduate Ahmed, says he couldn’t wish for better guidance. “LAU is not only about getting a second-to-none academic education. I know for a fact that my son has been in good and safe hands that have shaped him and made him what he is today: a responsible young man ready to serve his community, ready to face tomorrow’s personal and professional challenges and who will succeed wherever he goes.”

Those warm sentiments were echoed by honorary degree recipients Dr. Chafic Frem and Dr. Leila Saad, who received doctorates in humane letters.

Despite the celebratory mood of the ceremonies, Frem, who is chairman of INDEVCO, took a solemn tone as he stood before the audience and addressed the young graduates: “Use your knowledge and education to create and innovate, to open new horizons and to help build new institutions.”

A pioneer industrialist — he is also the co-founder of INDEVCO, founder of NAPCO Group of companies and founder of Sanita — Frem is a community leader who strongly believes in social responsibility. “It is your duty to give back to society by being responsible citizens… The country needs you, you are the hope of tomorrow,” he said, reminding students of the immense responsibility they hold as future leaders.

Co-founder of global education management organization SABIS and chairperson of its board, Saad’s relationship with LAU goes back seven decades, when she attended LAU’s predecessor, the American Junior College for Women. A renowned educator, Saad advised the students to leave individual ambitions behind and to strive for collective achievement based on teamwork, the only key for success. “Personal prominence is subordinated to the vision of the whole, where cooperation is nurtured and where a leader cements, inspires and keeps the team on course… Only functional teams can build worthwhile advancement in the 21st Century,” she said.

A message that was well received by the young crowd who, despite the overwhelming excitement of the graduation ceremony, listened to the wise words with profound appreciation.

“Today, many of us wouldn’t be here without LAU’s generosity,” said biology graduate Essa Hariri, who delivered the valedictorian speech. “We realize that all the obstacles we faced are nothing compared to much more hardship will we have to overcome. Yet, as LAU graduates, we will be true leaders of tomorrow’s society, fully prepared to pave a life path of success.”

Several awards were presented during the ceremonies. The winners of the President’s Award—a $1,000 prize in recognition of academic distinction—were Rona Hassan Koobayssi (Architecture), Martine Issam Abboud (Arts & Sciences), Elsa Elie Samia (Business), Catherine Joseph Ghadban (Engineering), Chant Hagop Kasantjian (Nursing) and Nisrine Nadim Haddad (Pharmacy). The Torch Award for outstanding leadership in cooperation with others went to Ramzi Hassan Naja (Architecture), Sally Antranik Demirdjian (Arts & Sciences), Nour Daniel El Chedrawi (Business), Reef Michel Khairallah (Engineering), Marie-Elise Joseph Haddad (Nursing) and Ziad Toufic El Debs (Pharmacy). The Riyad Nassar Leadership Award went to Chant Hagop Kasantjian.

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A student receives her diploma from LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra.

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Addressing the graduates, Dr. Jabbra shared a request: “As alumni to be: no matter where you are, where you go or what you do, don’t forget LAU.”

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The event was attended by officials, students’ families and friends.

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More than 600 students from different disciplines received their degrees.

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In his valedictorian speech, biology student Essa Hariri thanked LAU professors and staff for their devotion.

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Chafic Frem receives an honorary doctorate from Dr. Jabbra and Provost Dr. George K. Najjar.

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Dr. Jabbra and Dr. Najjar bestow a doctorate in humane letters upon Leila Saad.

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