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AUB Brings Together Alumni for Reunion Weekend 2017

Alumni Reunion 2017 kicked off at the American University of Beirut (AUB) on Thursday, June 29, with the 25th and 50th honoring ceremony at the iconic Assembly Hall. This event-which was attended by AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, graduates and their families, and AUB officials, staff, and guests-honored those celebrating their silver and golden graduation from AUB, the classes of 1992 and 1967. A special tribute was also paid to those celebrating 55+ years of graduation.

A packed Assembly Hall cheered for the graduates as they received their medals from President Khuri and Salma Oueida, Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. In his speech, Dr. Khuri reminded the audience of the quality of AUB graduates, who have been leading the region towards a better future.

"Last year, at the end of 2016, the most prestigious university ranking system, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking organization, introduced a new measure highlighting the employability of graduates of different universities worldwide. AUB was ranked 78th out of 10,000 universities in employer reputation and 32nd in alumni outcomes worldwide, coming first not just in the Arab countries, but the whole of the MENA. This year Wealth-X looking at the net capital of graduates worldwide, AUB ranked 8th amongst all universities," said President Khuri.

"It is not like this news came as a surprise," continued Dr. Khuri. "We know, and the world knows, what kind of graduates come out of this institution. This came as further evidence and an affirmation that our graduates are of top quality, and that we are producing, year after year, stellar professionals who could lead the change in this region and beyond. Thank you for coming to AUB, but also thank you for achieving what you have, and making the AUB community that is now formed of over 60,000 alumni a vibrant and impactful one."

Dr. Khuri also urged the alumni to look to their communities and lead for change: "My message to the alumni today is a simple one, never forget your communities and where they came from. Knowing where you came from helps you know who you are," he said. "You've done very well but it's time to do well in these challenging times for Lebanon and the region."

Keynote speaker Mazen Salha, speaking on behalf of the class of 1967 celebrating their Golden Jubilees, walked down memory lane and shared with the audience his memories of that year, and the lessons he has learned since graduation.

"[This] University gave me a solid foundation to continue to build my knowledge and capabilities; but reflecting back, I realize how much AUB opened the doors of my awareness," said Salha. "It taught me how to think rationally and provided me with a great platform for social and intellectual interaction."

Michel Bayoud, speaking on behalf of the class of 1992, shared his thoughts with the enthusiastic audience about what AUB gives its graduates and what it stands for.

"Being present here today is a token of appreciation to AUB, to what it represents to each one of us, and what it stands for, a university for the open minds, the free thinkers, the achievers, and the trend setters, all of whom are boldly AUB," said Bayoud. "What AUB gave all of us is a structured analytical and critical way of thinking that we use every day in our work and life. AUB also gave us an anchor that would bring us back to this country or make us stay in it against all odds. What AUB gave us are the thousands of successful leaders, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and teachers, and the chance to network through it all."

Following the ceremony, a party was held at the Green Oval, where colorful bean bags and tables were set up. Hundreds of alumni joined with their families and friends to enjoy the food and entertainment under the starry skies. Great vibes dominated the evening as kids played and friends reunited, making it a convivial evening of reminiscing and friendship.

The reunion activities were extended through the weekend. On Friday, a gala dinner was held at Teatro Verdun and, on Saturday, a family day out was organized in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Center with a visit to Horsh Baakline.


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