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Hats off to LAU Beirut graduating students

July 9, 2012—

A festive atmosphere prevailed at the Beirut graduation ceremonies that took place on July 7 and 8 as family and friends, faculty, and distinguished guests celebrated the conferring of degrees to LAU Beirut graduates.

The first graduation ceremony recognized the completion of degrees from the School of Architecture and Design, the School of Arts and Sciences and graduate programs. The next day, LAU celebrated the bestowal of degrees upon graduates from the School of Business.

LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra infused the atmosphere with tangible pride asserting that the past academic year exceeded all expectations and propelled the university to new heights of excellence.

Placing graduates at the center of this excellence, he proudly looked on as students marched towards their degrees cloaked in their LAU ceremonial gowns.

“In its drive toward sustained excellence, LAU recognizes the excellent contributions leaders and benefactors make to our global village,” said Jabbra prior to conferring three honorary doctorates in humane letters to Sheikh Abdulaziz Ali Alturki, Myrna Emile Bustani and Samih Taleb Darwazah.

Alturki is the group chairman of Rawabi Holding Company in Saudi Arabia as well as the founding partner of Nesma and Partners. As an active humanitarian focused on health and social development he challenged the graduates to “add value to the places and people [they] belong to.”

“As an educated, capable and motivated college graduate your power lies in your ability to increase capabilities through civic engagement,” Alturki contended at the July 7th ceremony.

No stranger to civic engagement, biology student Yehia Abbas Tfayli gave the valedictory address.

“LAU is a stepping stone to the future,” Tfayli said. “We will meet the high expectations implied by being an LAU graduate,” he promised the audience.
“We will sculpt the future.”

Business administration student, Bechara Khalil Maroun, gave the valedictory address the next day, reminiscing about the memories cultivated within LAU’s gates over the years.

“LAU gave us an excellent education and a space to grow, think, dream and achieve,” he said. “It was, and always will be, the right choice,” he proudly continued.

The audience present at the July 8th ceremony witnessed the conferring of a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, to Myrna Emile Bustani, the first woman to be elected to the Lebanese Parliament. A great supporter of the arts, she launched the Al Bustan International Festival of Music and the Arts in 1994 and is today striving to give Lebanon a proper opera house.

“Music is a great help in life. With music you learn to be precise to hit exactly the right note, you learn to be in time and in tune,” says Bustani invoking the therapeutic nature of music.

On the same evening, Jabbra conferred an honorary doctorate upon Samih Taleb Darwazah, who advised the young graduates to be committed to their goals, but to also remain flexible in their approach.

“Keep your options open until you reach your target and achieve your dream,” said Darwazah as he shared the detours he encountered on the path to becoming the founder of Hikma Pharmaceuticals; one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the United Kingdom.

“And always maintain your enthusiasm,” Darwazah emphasized.

Indeed, enthusiasm was in ready supply among the graduating class. “I loved studying in the capital, it is quite an inspiring city” says banking and finance graduate, Daniel El-Khoury. “I will leave LAU with the knowledge, confidence and skills I acquired here,” he continued.


Several awards were presented during the ceremonies. The winners of the President’s Award—a $1000 award in recognition of academic distinction—were Yara Mahmoud Khraibani (Architecture and Design), Mariam Nabil Nabbout (Arts and Science), Bechara Khalil Maroun (Business). The Torch Award for outstanding leadership in cooperation with others went to Shawky Sajih Amine Eddine (Arts and Science), Fadi Tarek Rajeh (Business). The Riyad Nassar Leadership Award went to Khaled Ziad Hamadeh (Business).

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A festive atmosphere prevails among graduating students.

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LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra left the students with a parting wish: “May you always find success, happiness, and satisfaction in your future careers.”

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Sheikh Abdulaziz Ali Alturki addresses the crowd after receiving his honorary doctorate.

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Enthusiastic graduating students from the School of Business.

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The graduation ceremony was attended by Lebanese officials, distinguished guests and students’ family and friends.

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Dr. Jabbra and LAU Provost Dr. Abdallah Sfeir bestow a doctorate in humane letters upon former MP Myrna Emile Bustani.

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Samih Taleb Darwazah receives an honorary doctorate from Jabbra and Sfeir.

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