Lebanese American University


Yalla! 2010: Events in 10 cities energize alumni in North America

Half a world away from the university’s campuses, the events reunited hundreds of LAU alumni and friends in the United States and Canada.

Yalla! 2010 kicked off with a cruise in Tampa Bay, Florida, November 6.

Gathering in Washington, D.C., November 9.

Alumni dance dabkewith LAU President Dr. Joseph Jabbra, during a dinner in Detroit, November 18.

Alumni and friends gather at a bowling alley in Ottawa, November 12. Director of Alumni and Special Projects in North America Edward Shiner (1st from right) and Alumni Relations Director Abdallah Al Khal (3rd from right) were also present.

Shiner (1st from left) and VP for University Advancement Richard Rumsey (2nd from left) with alumni and their families during a brunch in Boston, November 14.

Montreal gathering, November 13.

Toronto dinner, November 20.

Dinner in Los Angeles, November 21.

New York event, November 11.

The last event of Yalla! 2010 was held in San Francisco, November 22.

Click on any photo above to view all 10 images.

Eight different hotel rooms, nine flights, several car trips, and nearly 16,000 km across two countries in 16 days. That’s Yalla! 2010.

This long journey took LAU’s Vice President for University Advancement Richard Rumsey and Director of Alumni and Special Projects in North America Edward Shiner to LAU alumni-sponsored events in 10 cities across the United States and Canada in just over a two-week period this month.

LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra and Alumni Relations Director Abdallah Al Khal joined some of the events along the way.

Starting with a cruise in Tampa Bay, Florida, on November 6, and ending on November 22 in San Francisco, California, Yalla! 2010 connected hundreds of alumni and friends at various dinners and receptions in Boston; Detroit; Los Angeles; Montreal; New York; Toronto; Washington, D.C.; and even a bowling alley in Ottawa, Canada.

The goal was to invigorate the university’s alumni as vital members of the university’s family, create awareness of LAU in North America, and help kick off a fundraising campaign to rally support around student scholarships.

“We had a genuine opportunity to connect with hundreds of alumni and friends of LAU from all over North America, and truly understand and respect what a global institution we are,” Rumsey says. “That really was our main goal for Yalla! 2010 and by every measure it turned out to be an overwhelming success.”

Conceived by members of LAU’s New York office, in conjunction with the university’s alumni chapters throughout North America, Yalla! 2010 was promoted with photos, alumni profiles, articles and announcements using the university’s various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

During the two weeks, thousands of people also visited Yalla! 2010’s dedicated blog, where they could see photos and watch videos of the events as they happened as well as read blog posts about the journey.

Yalla! 2010 was such a galvanizing event that it stimulated New York-based LAU alum Khalil Kanaan to provide a generous $10,000 gift that he has called a “challenge grant” to help encourage other alumni of the university to support scholarship programs.

“We’re looking forward to the energy of Yalla! carrying over into the [fundraising] campaign for the rest of the year,” Rumsey says. “Khalil Kanaan’s generous gift has helped us make Yalla! 2010 into something more than simply a collection of events, and that’s exactly what we were hoping for when we conceived of this idea.”

Kanaan says he was impressed with the Yalla! campaign and wants to continue its momentum while investing in education. He adds: “It is something that I truly believe in and I hope others will join me.”


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