LAU inaugurates its Headquarters and Academic Center in New York
The new center will offer its students a selection of courses that foster cross-cultural understanding.
In a historic and strategic move that will push the university’s global reach further than ever before, LAU has inaugurated its New York Headquarters and Academic Center.
The opening ceremony on September 13 was attended by a number of prominent Lebanese figures, including former minister Nayla Mouawad, Ahmad Hariri, Mona Safadi, and Lebanon’s Ambassador to the United Nations Nawwaf Salam.
LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra said the opening of the New York center exemplified the university’s pioneering commitment to global education and cross-cultural understanding. “Some 177 years ago the U.S. sent a wonderful gift to Lebanon,” he said in reference to Sarah Huntington Smith, the American Presbyterian missionary who founded the American School for Girls, which eventually grew into LAU. “Today LAU is returning that gift to the U.S., opening this center in the heart of Manhattan to serve New York and the entire nation.”
The center at 211 E 46th Street will offer courses to U.S.-based students in a variety of fields including Islamic banking, peace education, gender studies in the Arab world, and Arabic language. The high-tech facility, which comprises approximately 30,000 square feet over three floors, features ten classrooms, business and admissions offices, a student lounge, and a library. It also houses LAU’s New York Advancement staff. LAU has initiated partnerships with several U.S. universities to allow students to transfer credits for courses taken at the center. The first students will enroll in the coming months.
Located just a stone’s throw from the United Nations Headquarters, the center is designed to be a platform for global learning and cross-cultural exchange. “Recent surveys by the National Geographic Society and the Asia Society point to a global decline in multicultural awareness and show that students lack adequate understanding of different cultures,” said Dr. Elie Badr, assistant provost for Academic Programs, assistant to the president and strategy officer for External Projects and Related Entities. “In an increasingly globalized world, LAU believes universities must play a crucial role in furthering intercultural understanding, education, and interaction. Our Headquarters and Academic Center in New York will help do just that.” To further facilitate cultural exchange, international conferences and workshops will become a regular feature of the Center’s activities. LAU will also invite leading international scholars to give public lectures on contemporary regional issues.
Marking the center’s inauguration, LAU held a two-day international conference on Global Outreach and Leadership (GOAL) on September 13 and 14. Hosted by LAU’s Outreach and Civic Engagement unit, it brought together over 100 leading education and policy professionals to discuss youth engagement, global education and leadership.
The inauguration crowned a week of activity in New York which included the university’s third annual New York gala dinner and the bi-annual Board of Trustees meeting.