Abdallah and Maguy Zakhem
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.
Peter Taylor (B.S. 2015)
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.
Salam Abou Ghanem (B.S. 1994)
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 (B.S. 2015)
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.
Joe Abi Ghosn (B.S. 2001)
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.
Nouhad Daou (B.S. 1986)
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.
H.E. Adnan Kassar
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.
Joe and Carmen Maroun
Joe Maroun is a man known for following his passions, however divergent they may be. The former secretary of LAU’s Board of Trustees was an airline pilot before his love of Lebanese bread led him to establish his own bakery products company in California. By the time he sold the Caravan Trading Company in 2010, it was one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.
Joe and his wife Carmen are dedicated philanthropists. They actively support several charities in Lebanon and in 2005, donated over 100,000 ready-to go emergency meals to survivors of the Southeast Asian Tsunami.
Anan Anabtawi is committed to improving the lives of others.
An investor and venture capitalist, Anabtawi is highly respected as a person who cares deeply about community, development and giving back. He and his wife Taroub are generous supporters of LAU and have a particular interest in the university’s health care initiatives at the Shatila refugee camp.
François Bassil knows that investing in young people brings great social rewards.
A veteran banker, Bassil chairs one of Lebanon’s foremost banks, Byblos Bank SAL, and is president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon.
Gisele and Najib Azar
“When we attended LAU, the campus was very small and enrollment was only a few hundred. We have great memories because we had very qualified and amazing professors. Most of the friends we made there have remained our close friends. When we look at LAU today, we feel so proud of the successes and improvements that have happened. We thank LAU for all it gave us and which will always remain with us.”
Dima Ghossaini (B.S. 1997)
“I give to LAU for two simple reasons: Firstly, I have a great love for the university that gave me the education, knowledge, and the tools to succeed in my field. Secondly, I continue to be drawn in by the excellence that LAU provides in so many fields.”
Adèle Haddad McCarus
“The reason that I give to LAU is to enable it to continue its priceless contribution to the education of Lebanese students to students from around the world. Apart from the valuable education that I received there, I made friendships that have endured to this day.”
-Adèle Haddad McCarus (A.A. 1946)
“LAU gave me a great deal, not only in knowledge, skills and competence, but also an understanding of human relations, interpersonal skills, outreach and networking. The least I can do is give back.”
-Samira Baroody (A.A. 1952, B.A. 1954)