Lebanese American University


The School of Nursing honors its first graduates

The Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing honors its graduating students in a recognition ceremony.

Nursing graduates, faculty and administrators gather for a group picture after the ceremony.

The recognition ceremony took place in presence of the graduates’ families and friends.

Click on any photo for larger version.

The Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing held a recognition ceremony honoring the achievements of its first graduating class on July 2. The intimate and emotionally charged event brought together friends and family members who looked on with pride as the nine graduating students celebrated their rite of passage to the professional nursing profession.

In the presence of nursing faculty and LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, a pinning ceremony was held. Graduates marched to claim their pins from Dean Dr. Nancy Hoffart, who expressed palpable pride as she bestowed upon the budding nurses a symbolic reminder of the gravitas of their profession.

“Our graduates have worked extremely hard and deserve the greatest respect as they begin their journey in the nursing profession,” said Hoffart.

“Every moment of this journey is something to remember,” said graduating student Ahmad Theibich, smiling widely. “Everything we experienced was that much more significant since we were the first group of students to pave this path,” he added.

Speaker at the event, fellow alumna and pioneer in the nursing field Selwa H. Makarem, EdD, RN. Makarem graduated from LAU in 1955 (then called the Beirut College for Women). Her exceptional career in nursing culminated when she was appointed director of the School of Nursing at the American University of Beirut from 1993-2003. Makarem spoke earnestly about her path to nursing and the great satisfaction her career infused in her life.

“Nurses are powerful messengers, they take determined action to help people change their futures,” she told the smiling graduates.

Alaa Badran as the class representative captured this sense of fulfillment in a farewell speech and tribute video dedicated to her class.

The short film offered a glimpse into the close bonds between the classmates and their passion and sense of humor in overcoming the challenges of their demanding studies. The students’ sense of camaraderie was clearly noticeable and showcased the value the SON places on team-based education.

“We had a dream to serve people in need,” said Badran, “LAU helped us to achieve this dream.”

Clearly appreciative of her professors, Badran delivered a heartfelt message on behalf of her classmates saying: “We want to thank LAU for opening the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing and Dean Hoffart who believed in our country, our university and most importantly, believed in us.”

To which Hoffart answered, “The School of Nursing will always be your home,” reminding the students to keep connected with their alma mater as they move on to the next chapter of their lives — a chapter which will doubtlessly play a significant role in other people’s lives.

The evening included an awards ceremony honoring academic excellence. Alaa Othman received the President’s Circle Award, in recognition of professional presentation, delivery of patient-centered nursing care and strong academics.

Shaké Ketefian, EdD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan School of Nursing has sponsored two Ketefian awards: Leila Maraqa received the Shaké Ketefian award for a BSNII Student, granted to a junior student in recognition of his or her compassion, caring, effective communication and sound clinical judgment when delivering patient care. Chant Kazandjian, received the Shaké Ketefian award in recognition of excellent academics, patient-centered care delivery and strong leadership potential.


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