LAU held its first ever gala dinner in Lebanon on March 23 at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center (Biel). The event was held in honor of major university supporters, whose contributions have helped LAU make higher education accessible to deserving students, regardless of their economic circumstances.
The event drew more than 850 friends of the university. Attendees included prominent political, economic, academic, and cultural figures, as well as members of LAU’s Board of Trustees and Board of International Advisors. Luminaries in attendance included the head of the Future Movement parliamentary bloc Fouad Seniora, Ministers Hassan Diab and Marwan Kheireddine, Mrs. Mona Mohammad Safadi representing Minister Mohammad Safadi, and Members of the Parliament: Bahia Hariri, Ali Ousseiran, Atef Majdalani, Chief of Lebanese Army Jean Kahwajy, Chief of Police General Salah Gebran, Mrs. Mona Elias Hraoui, Former Minister Leila Solh Hamadeh, and former ministers: Raymond Audi, Fares Boueiz, Ibrahim Najjar, Salim Warde, Salim Sayegh, Jihad Azour, Sami Haddad, Adel Hamieh, and Shahe Barsoumian, in addition to a number of former members of the parliament and presidents of municipalities, Lebanese and internationally renowned fashion designer Elie Saab, Mrs. Suad Juffali from KSA, Ambassador of UK Thomas Flitcher, Ambassador of Spain Juan Carlos Gafu, Ambassador of Jordan Ziad Majali, and the Chargé d’Affaires of Qatar Rached Al-Kouwary.
“I am honored by your presence here tonight and by your steadfast support for the university at a critical phase in its renaissance,” said Joseph G. Jabbra, president of LAU.
Jabbra stressed the university’s growth in recent years, both in terms of inaugurating new schools and major research facilities as well as successfully pursuing accreditations.
“This event is significant insofar as it reflects your generosity and your commitment to the vision of the university,” he added.
If the $7.5 million raised was anything to go by, that commitment indeed ran deep.
During the dinner, an auction was organized by Sotheby’s Auction House, which delegated one of its main auctioneers to come from New York especially for this event, Mrs. Aileen Agopian, Senior International Specialist in Contemporary Art.
All proceeds from the event will go toward the university’s Endowment Scholarship Fund, which targets academically accomplished but socio-economically disadvantaged students.