The American University of Beirut (AUB) launched on Monday “BOLDLY AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve,” in a spectacular ceremony at the Charles W. Hostler Student Center auditorium on campus attended by regional dignitaries, business leaders, AUB leadership, and friends of the University.
During the ceremony, AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri announced that AUB has received the largest gift in its history, from the Semaan Foundation, to bestow the name Maroun Semaan on AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture which will thus be renamed the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.
“Adversity abounds, and AUB is the refuge. That is why we are launching this capital campaign, called Boldly AUB, the Campaign to Lead, Innovate and Serve. That is why we are aiming to raise $500M so we can educate ever-greater numbers of deserving students who cannot afford our tuition, so we can put much-needed innovation and entrepreneurialism back into our society, so we can serve more of our most needy and unfortunate citizens,” President Khuri said.
Upon declaring “BOLDLY AUB, the Campaign to Lead, Innovate and Serve” formally open, President Khuri requested a confirmation of the assent of the Trustees from Chairman Philip Khoury to increase the goals of the campaign from USD 500M to USD 650M, as a result of receiving two major gifts: the largest gift in the history of AUB from the Semaan Foundation, and another coming donation from a major donor. Chairman Philip Khoury announced the approval of the Board of the revised Campaign goal.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Saad Hariri representing the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun. Speaker Nabih Berri was represented by MP Ali Bazzi. The ceremony was also attended by Ministers: Marwan Hamadeh, Ghassan Hasbani, Ghattas Khoury, Ayman Choukair, Inaya Ezzeddine, and Raed Khoury, former Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag, other officials in addition to AUB alumni and friends.
Later on during the ceremony, President Khuri invited the audience to watch a documentary about the achievements of Engineer Maroun Semaan. Semaan is a prominent businessman who holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
From 1991 to 2013, Semaan was Co-founder, Director and President of Petrofac Group, a FTSE 100 company where he held different positions. Semaan serves on several business boards and is a member of the Board of Trustees of The American University of Sharjah (AUS), Board of Trustees of The American University of Beirut (AUB) and is also a founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). He established, in 2010, the Semaan Foundation in Beirut to support philanthropic activities in the fields of education, healthcare as well as social welfare.