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.
Abdallah Zakhem explains why they give back.
Why do you both give back to LAU?
First and foremost, LAU (formerly Beirut University College, BUC) is the alma mater of Maguy, who is president of the Alumni of Class of ’75. Secondly, because we in the Zakhem family were raised to understand that education is primary in life, success and in promoting future generations to build solid foundations.
How did the institution shape Mrs. Zakhem? What traits and qualities did she gain from her time at BUC?
BUC taught Maguy a sense of leadership, responsibility, autonomy and freedom of spirit.
What message would you like to convey to LAU alumni and current students? What words of wisdom could you impart?
Maguy and I encourage fellow alumni and current students to persevere in their studies, follow their heart and dreams, accomplish their ambitions wholeheartedly, and never give up in their pursuit of success and achievement.
What would you both like to see LAU achieve in the near future?
We would like to see LAU able to provide education to a wider audience of students from various diverse backgrounds and bigger campuses that house several successful schools, which have tremendous offerings in a multitude of educations, disciplines and fields for the future generations to prosper intellectually and practically.
Why are you both interested in supporting education, especially in Lebanon?
We are both interested in supporting education because education is an expression and a source of self-worth, enlightenment, vision, freedom of spirit, and, most importantly, individuality of being.