Alumna Maguy Zakhem (B.A., 1975), along with her husband Abdallah and the Zakhem family, could be called the foundation of LAU’s Byblos campus. This is because it was their land – gifted to LAU in the 1990s and worth nearly $1 million at the time – upon which the university expanded into a two-campus institution. Today, the Byblos campus is a thriving hub for LAU students and bears the Zakhem name in various places – including the seven-story Zakhem Hall – to celebrate the family’s many major gifts and ongoing generosity to the university.
It was by an accident of fate that Dr. Lina Ariss-Abdo — a board certified pediatrician and graduate of Hopkins, NYU and Columbia — came to revive the Scholarship Endowment fund established by her maternal grandfather Samih Rashid Barbir (1911-2004) and his sister Mounira Barbir Naamani. Two years ago on his birthday Lina was googling her late grandfather and got two hits. One was a 1955 ship manifest (Ile de France, from New York to Plymouth) on which his name appeared as a passenger. The other was an LAU endowment fund. No one in the family knew about it.
Making sure that Lebanon is firmly on the world’s winter resort map, Rizk Rizk, chairman, major shareholder and member of the board of directors of Tourisme et Sports d’Hiver Mzaar, Mzaar 2000 and Mzaar InterContinental Hotel, gives his guests a ski experience that is nothing less than excellent.
Having obtained a business degree with an emphasis in banking and finance from LAU in January 2015, Peter Taylor currently lives in both Boston and Beirut, splitting his time between the two cities. Six months ago he launched a performance drink called Vitamin 1, which he had been working on since his graduation.
With the help of what he calls an “all-time passion” for the field of building contracting and interior design, alumnus Salam Abou Ghanem embarked on a journey that eventually led him to running his own business. His journey started in 1994 when he graduated from LAU equipped with a degree in business marketing. Armed with knowledge, skills, values and most importantly, passion, he entered the job market, gaining experience at several leading companies in his field for nearly 12 years before launching his own fit-out contracting company, bci décor, in the UAE in 2006.
Romy Bakhos Salamé, an LAU alumna who earned a business degree in 2015, is applying her expertise to the marketing and management of sports products, aiming to improve their sales and distribution within the local market. In her personal life, she recently got married and generously allocated all the funds of her wedding gift bank account to LAU’s scholarship program. “It struck me that I can give what I don't need and share it in a way that truly makes a difference for someone wanting an education,” she said, commenting on this personal initiative.
For the past several years, Joe Abi Ghosn has been making substantial donations to support LAU’s Gala Dinner Endowment Scholarship Fund as well as initiatives that he is passionate about, such as the university’s groundbreaking exoskeleton project.
What did you study at BUC?
I joined BUC in 1981 at its off-campus program in Louaize as a dual degree Engineering student. In 1983 I travelled to the US and graduated from Texas Tech University in 1985 with a B.S.C.E. I also received a B.S. in General Science from BUC in 1986.
Where do you live now?
I have been living in Nigeria and Ghana for the past 24 years, but my family recently relocated to Lebanon. I am happily married to Daniella Rizcallah and we have three children, Celine, Antoine and Corine.
Dr. Georges Harik is a name that every aspiring computer scientist should know. As one of Google’s first ten engineers and former director of new products, the Lebanese expatriate helped launch many of Google’s products that millions of people now take for granted. Since then, he’s gone on to establish a nonprofit artificial intelligence lab, as well as the video-conference platform imo.im. He also provides financial backing to promising start-ups, a process known as angel investing. Harik is a generous friend to LAU, providing annual support to the Department of Computer Science.
Adnan Kassar is renowned for his diligence, vision and leadership, and understands the importance of inspiring such values in Lebanon’s future leaders.
Kassar is currently the chairman and majority shareholder of Fransabank SAL, and the chairman of Fransa Holding SAL. He is also the founder and co-owner of A.A. Kassar SAL, a leading trading company headquartered in Beirut.