Accepted! That’s what every student can’t wait to hear. All that hard work in high school, all the standardized admissions tests and the interviews with school administrators culminates in opening the door to the new and exciting world of possibility that is higher education.
Embarking upon the university experience is a seminal moment in anyone’s life. It propels them into a journey that can lead to a nearly endless array of possibilities. As with any institution of higher learning, students choose to attend Lebanese American University for an education of both study and experience and, as many of you well know, what they receive at LAU is often second-to-none. They entrust LAU to open doors, advocate on behalf of their best interests, and ensure that no stone is left unturned where there is potential to improve their chance for success, not to mention the ability to make a positive contribution to the world.
But what if a deserving student doesn’t have the financial means to obtain the education and experience that LAU can provide? As President Joseph Jabbra has often said, the university has an obligation to offer an education to all qualified students, regardless of their economic status. This tenet is central to LAU’s identity and an obligation and duty that it believes cannot be shirked.
When LAU’s New York office inaugurated its Yalla! campaign during the fall of 2010, and reprised it a year later, the goal was two-fold: it was looking to engage and energize the university’s alumni across the North American continent, letting them know that LAU remains a vibrant and relevant aspect of their lives despite the fact that the campuses are situated half a world away in Lebanon. And the university wanted to raise funds that would directly fulfill its duty of helping deserving young people attend LAU, succeed and thrive at the university, and continue the tradition further.
Thanks to Yalla!, 20 deserving students have received scholarships to help them attend LAU so far. Studying in fields such as economics and accounting as well as biology and education, these students have shined during their time at the university—young leaders who will undoubtedly have the opportunity to achieve great things. Their dreams may not have been realized had it not been for Yalla! and all of those who have supported it over the last two years and continue to support it today.
While countless LAU alumni and friends have come together in the United States and Canada, both in person and online, since the university’s first Yalla! event back in Tampa, Fla. on November 6, 2010 (see sidebar for more information about Yalla!), the spirit of Yalla! continues on whether events are happening or not. More importantly, however, is the legacy of Yalla!—the students who are receiving an excellent education at LAU today because of it. With more Yalla! events scheduled for this coming fall LAU’s supporters will be able to open the door to opportunities for even more young people in the future.