Class of 2014, we’re proud of you
743 students from LAU Byblos’ seven schools march in their commencement ceremony.
“This is our World Cup!” enthused valedictorian and recipient of the President’s Award Mirla Abi Aad to a wild-eyed cheering crowd. “We wait four years for this magnificent and grand event… We all get so hyped up for this huge occasion that we forget to recognize the constant training, preparation, and hard work that we put in to get here, to qualify, and to perform,” said the engineering graduate, who earned a perfect GPA.
Holding witty signs, waving to their family and friends, smiling and cheering, the graduates’ exhilaration was tangible and contagious.
Overwhelming, the feeling of excitement was for some mixed with a pinch of nostalgia. “I am so happy and full of energy for a new start,” claims nursing graduate Nour Andari, “However, I am a little sad and can’t help remembering all the good moments I have spent on this campus; but that’s life, we have to move on.” The recipient of the Riyad Nassar Leadership Award, she will start working soon before pursuing her master’s degree.
For Nour’s mother, Randa, attending her daughter’s graduation is an emotional and fulfilling moment. “I feel so proud and happy tonight. After all these tireless years it is a great reward for us,” she says. Another proud parent, Antoine Jehwan expressed faith in LAU and the all-embracing education that his daughter Yara, a Biology graduate, received at the university. “When dealing with LAU, you are dealing with academic excellence and on-going improvement and progress at all levels,” he says. A fact that, in the opinion of President Joseph G. Jabbra, “is a dream unfolding.”
“LAU has become an academic power house, taking its right place in the constellation of leading institutions of higher education in Lebanon, the MENA region, and beyond,” he says. Jabbra praised the students’ ambition to excel, their high ethics, professionalism and their altruism. “Their poise, self-confidence deportment, and delivery are absolutely superb,” he declared.
“Impressed,” is also how honorary degree in humane letter recipient Jacques Saadé described his feelings. Saadé, who heads CMA CGM – the third largest shipping company in the world – gave the students his personal recipe for success: “Don’t be afraid to be innovative and daring, have a vision and live by your convictions, be demanding – first of yourself and then of others, and finally - create solid relationships with your partners based on trust.”
Wishing the graduates “fair wings,” he urged them not to forget their country’s future. “Lebanon need bright minds like you to sail ahead,” he said.
For Karla Iskandar, who graduated from the School of Business with a 4.0 GPA and is a recipient of the President’s Award, the message was received loud and clear. Having been granted a full scholarship from the Swedish Institute to pursue a master’s in international and economic development, her goal “is to learn the best practices and give back to my home country.” Iskandar, who also expressed regret at the thought of leaving LAU, says, “This university gave me much more than an excellent academic education, it has taught me to take initiative, lead, be civically engaged and to give back - and this is precisely what I am going to do.”
Valedictorian Mirla Abi Aad delivering her speech.
Yes, they did!
A shot of the Byblos campus beautifully transformed for the occasion.
Taking a picture to remember their commencement forever.
Over 740 Byblos students attended their graduation ceremony.
Dr. Jabbra and Provost George K. Najjar bestow a doctorate in humane letters upon Jacques Saadé.
Dr. Jabbra addresses the audience.
Graduates cheering as the ceremony draws to a close.
Fireworks announce the closing of the ceremony.