The convention brought together AUB alumni from Lebanon, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kingdom Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Kingdom, Athens, and North America, who attended WAAAUB meetings and participated in a number of social activities to help them connect with each other and their alma mater.
The three-day meeting also included a leadership summit, and a gala dinner and alumni awards ceremony on May 2 at 8:30 PM At Le Maillon – Centre Sofil- Ashrafieh. It was wrapped up on the morning of May 3 in Issam Fares Hall.
The kick-off welcome reception was held at Rotana Gefinor Hotel, Beirut where President Peter Dorman inaugurated the convention by reiterating the importance of alumni to AUB.
“I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate how important our alumni are to this University. Their appreciation for the AUB experience that they enjoyed and for the role that the University plays in Lebanon and the region, their generous support, their wisdom, and their advice is invaluable. I have benefited enormously and have been deeply touched by some of the stories they have shared with me – stories about the profound impact that AUB has had on them, their families, and their communities,”
said President Dorman at the convention launching ceremony.
HE Khalil Makkawi, president of WAAAUB Board of Directors, also spoke at the welcome ceremony, updating attendees on WAAAUB’s latest news.
“I am very proud to be able to report to all of you that we have achieved a lot: our Outreach Committee is preparing the third issue of its electronic newsletter, Al Jame’a; we have organized three very successful regional meetings in Washington DC, Jordan, and Bahrain; we have launched the WAAAUB Alumni Award program; and we are looking forward to the second round of WAAAUB elections on May 15th. In addition, there has been a good deal of more routine, ongoing activity like reaching out to alumni and reviewing our bylaws, policies, and procedures. By referring to this activity as ‘routine’ and ‘ongoing’ I do not mean to in any way diminish its importance. Quite the contrary. I consider it one of the great successes of WAAAUB that it has so quickly become part of the ordinary fabric of alumni life at AUB. It is a success that those of us meeting today share with the literally thousands of AUB alumni around the world who have embraced WAAAUB,” said Makkawi.
Farouk Jabre, an AUB Trustee and member of the Implementation Task Force that the Board of Trustees established in June 2005 to assist with the establishment of a single worldwide alumni association for AUB, also communicated the importance of the role alumni play.
“Alumni have become more involved with AUB since the establishment of WAAAUB. Another way in which we can see their increased involvement is in the establishment of new chapters and branches – such as the two that have been established in Cairo and Philadelphia this year. I see this development – the decision of a group of AUB alumni to take the initiative to establish an alumni chapter in a part of the world where one did not previously exist – as one more indication of the success of WAAAUB. Our alumni now feel that their voices will be heard, that their input is welcomed – even solicited, and that they have a place at the table,” said Jabre, who also paid tribute to two prominent and recently deceased alumni—Fawzi Maalouf, who led AUB alumni during the war years, and Ambassador Nadim Demeshkieh, who took over the helm after the end of the civil strife, establishing the AUB Alumni Scholarship Committee.
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