Talal Shair, chairman and CEO of engineering consultancy Dar Al-Handasah, presented LAU with $1.5 million. Announced at the university’s sixth-annual Fundraising Gala Dinner held on December 14, the gift will support the School of Engineering’s recently constructed six-floor Engineering Laboratories and Research Center on the Byblos campus, which houses state-of-the art facilities for faculty and students.
LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra made the announcement during his welcome speech. “We have been building new facilities for our students, including a major one on our Byblos campus, and Mr. Talal Shair and Mrs. Maha Shair decided to contribute a significant gift toward that, and we are so grateful.”
In honor of Shair’s generous contribution, the sixth floor of the Engineering Laboratories and Research Center will be named after him and his wife. The Talal and Maha Shair Engineering Floor features academic labs, dean’s offices and a beautifully landscaped outdoor space, all currently open to students, faculty and visitors.
With innovation and research at the forefront of LAU’s strategic plans, the Engineering Laboratories and Research Center is a dynamic base for teaching and collaborative research, featuring high-end facilities conveniently surrounded by the university’s engineering departments. The 10,000-square meter space boasts an array of specialized workrooms, including a soil geotechnical lab, internal combustion engines lab, and electronic circuits lab, among dozens of others.
“This major gift is crucial to our goals at LAU and to a facility that is giving our next generation of youth the opportunity to gain the unique, hands-on experience they need to become entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators,” said Nassib N. Nasr, assistant vice president for development at LAU.
The multidisciplinary engineering hub also promotes collaboration between students through a unique landscape design of various social spaces. The goal is to encourage interactions and generate opportunities to explore new initiatives that will change how our world works.
The Shair family has been a longtime friend and supporter of LAU, with its commitment spanning an incredible 31 years, beginning with the generosity of the late Kamal Shair, co-founder of Dar Al-Handasah.
In addition, Shair serves on LAU’s Board of International Advisors, and along with his wife is an extraordinary supporter of LAU, helping to create scholarships through their annual commitment to the Gala Dinner Endowed Scholarship Fund, which benefits needy and deserving students, and their many additional gifts throughout the years.