Alumni demonstrate the value of LAU’s scholarship program

June 15, 2017

LAU’s latest cohort of graduates are now out in the world embarking on their dreams. Just like their fellow alumni, they too will begin to transition into new jobs and prepare for graduate studies. Older alumni are all too familiar with the process and most have positive experiences post-LAU, attributing much of their success to the knowledge and skills gained at the university, and the financial support provided.

Ziad Sankari is one such graduate whose 2007 final-year project for his computer engineering degree eventually led to the invention of a cardiac monitor that has saved lives worldwide and is being used by thousands of patients in the U.S.

“The early days of my career were shaped by the education I got at LAU including the more developed and curricula and the more developed campus life that definitely meshed with my character,” said Sankari who is CEO and Founder of CardioDiagnostics, a multimillion-dollar company with global operations including 10 software developers based in Lebanon.

However, Sankari’s company may not have been born without his LAU education, and more importantly the access he had despite financial constraints.

“I think the funding and financial aid provided by LAU is crucial in changing the lives of the bright young men and women who otherwise would not have the chance to get a good opportunity for their careers and their futures,” explained Sankari who says he would not have attended LAU without financial aid.

During the 2016 fiscal year LAU awarded $26.2 million in financial aid and scholarships to 3,663 recipients. Some were awarded as non-need based grants and scholarships for students’ exceptional merit. Many, however, were need-based awards, like the support that alumna Jennifer El Hajjal received.  

El Hajjal, who graduated last year with a B.S. in business with accounting emphasis, had not even finished her studies at LAU before receiving a job offer from one of the most reputable auditing firms in the world. Today, she is an associate at Deloitte and audits the financial statements of her firm’s clients from various industries — a role she dreamed of while attending university.

She says LAU played a major role in her success and that without the financial support she received she would not have been able to study at LAU and carry out her bigger dreams that she has planned in the near future: the passing the CPA and earning an MBA.“The knowledge I gained is the best thing I received from LAU, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship I earned,” said El Hajjal. “Through financial support, I had a chance to achieve my goals by studying at a university that strives for academic excellence but also to educate the whole person to become a future leader.”

The university’s works hard to ensure there are opportunities for students despite any financial setbacks. Assistant Vice President for Development Nassib Nasr leads those efforts, along with a team of development officers, who secure resources for scholarships and aid.

“Every year we see more and more students needing aid in large part because of the difficult economic and political climate we are facing today. Given this, we are doing everything we can at LAU to be able to provide as much financial aid and support as possible to ensure that deserving students attend our university,” said Nasr.

The numbers demonstrate that Nasr’s efforts are paying off. Forty-six percent more aid was provided in fiscal year 2016 than was offered during fiscal year 2012, which stood at $16.4 million.

“We are so happy with what we have achieved, and even more so we are proud of those graduates who benefited from this aid, and have gone on to show the world their full potential,” added Nasr.