Alumni parents and grandparents, along with their children and grandchildren who recently enrolled at the American University of Beirut, joined the annual Legacy Ceremony held at the university’s Assembly Hall to celebrate the passing of the torch from one American University of Beirut generation to another.
The 2022 Legacy Ceremony was an occasion for multi-generational American University of Beirut families to commemorate their special relationship with the university and to celebrate the beginning of their sons’ and daughters’ higher education journey. Senior university leadership, deans, and faculty members joined the celebration and welcomed the new students and their families.
“This is where we all spent some of the best days of our lives making memories and friendships that last a lifetime, and gaining an education – inside and outside classrooms – that is unmatched,” said Salma Oueida, associate vice president for development, alumni relations, and university events. “Despite it all, Beirut will always be the land of change and the American University of Beirut its vessel. We are counting on all of you to become the leaders of tomorrow we know you can be.”
Oueida also spoke about the university’s worldwide alumni community and the importance of staying in touch with the university, stating that today, the American University of Beirut has more than 76,000 living alumni in more than 118 countries and that there are 67 alumni chapters worldwide, and more are being established.
Antoine Sabbagh, director of admissions and financial aid, addressed the students and welcomed them to “the home” of their parents and grandparents. “Welcome to the the American University of Beirut community which you will be part of beyond the walls of this campus and for the rest of your life,” he said.
Nayla Al-Akl, dean of student affairs, thanked the alumni for supporting the university’s mission and for believing in and trusting the American University of Beirut with the education and future of their children and grandchildren. “The staff, the faculty, and student community at the American University of Beirut are committed to ensuring that your children and grandchildren have a supportive environment where they can live, learn, and grow.”
Dr. Fadlo Khuri, American University of Beirut president, spoke about how the university, over decades and generations “has witnessed remarkable individuals shaping their minds and lives in its classrooms, shaping their communities and the world beyond its gates, and leaving behind legacies of success, change, and prosperity; and passing on the torch to their precious youth to carry on the legacy.”
He addressed the students, thanking them for choosing the American University of Beirut, “We look forward to getting to know you and your talents, perspectives, and aspirations.” He also addressed the alumni saying, “Thank you for entrusting us with your legacy and for your continuing engagement with your alma mater.”
Abdallah Dabaghi, an alumni parent and American University of Beirut chemistry graduate, class of 1991, also spoke, sharing his experience of being an American University of Beirut alumnus and a parent of a new American University of Beirut student. “Although we had the choice of travelling abroad, I wanted [my daughter] to have a taste of what I had – the American University of Beirut experience. I am not able to describe the pride and joy when she enrolled. We were very happy that our daughter will be molded in the American University of Beirut way of ingenuity, quality, and open mindedness.”
The ceremony was wrapped up with the traditional group photo on the iconic stairs of Main Gate, and was followed by a reception at the university’s Assembly Hall plaza.