This year’s New York fundraising gala addressed two of LAU’s —and Lebanon’s— most pressing concerns: making education available to all deserving students in the midst of an economic crisis, and ensuring care to cancer patients fighting for their lives at the university’s hospitals.
Combined with an online auction and exhibition of contemporary Lebanese art at LAU New York, the effort was the culmination of months of organizing, planning and networking led by the Gala Committee, co-chaired by Zeina and Nijad Fares, and the LAU teams in New York and Lebanon.
In early 2022, with COVID-19 isolation lifted, the university decided to up its game over previous years. Rather than a single dinner or event, LAU orchestrated a planned campaign of communications and pre-gala events around the country, culminating in the Give to Learn, Give to Live gala. In co-chairpersons Zeina and Nijad Fares, the university found a dedicated couple who hosted a dinner in May at their home in Houston, where they announced a generous pre-event pledge. “We were thrilled to help out and happy to meet new alumni as well,” the couple commented.
Gala Committee members included Ray Debbane, T.H. Edward Gabriel, May Makhzoumi, Dr. Michel Mawad, Dr. Francois Nader, Dr. Micheline Nader, Dr. George Najjar, Manal Saab and Philip Stoltzfus. As LAU New York AVP for Development Nadya Mikdashi commented: “The support of the Board of Trustees and the Gala Committee was at the core of the campaign’s success. The gala was a remarkable night of philanthropy.” President Michel Mawad noted in his welcoming, “This is an evening of compassion, a gathering of big hearts and bigger souls, a prime opportunity to show our solidarity with our country.”