“This initiative supports one of the University’s highest priorities and will inspire our next fundraising campaign,” declared President Peter Dorman when he heard that AUB had surpassed its goal to raise $20 million for financial aid. Provost Ahmad Dallal described the news as a “landmark achievement” in AUB’s history. Because of an additional $5 million pledged by five generous donors in September 2009 to seed the initiative, AUB has actually raised $25.5 million – exclusively for financial aid – in just the last three years.
This successful fundraising drive is just the most recent in a series of efforts that AUB has launched in recent years to expand its financial aid program from $2.6 million in 2001-02 to $17.1 million in 2011-12. During the last five years, AUB has also received grants from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) totaling more than $26.7 million to support various scholarship programs. It was also awarded an additional $7.5 million through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) that is being used to provide scholarships for regional students.
Financial aid transforms the lives not just of the thousands of men and women who are receiving support today, but of their classmates as well. President Dorman explains. “AUB prepares its students for active citizenship by introducing them to questions of diversity and identity and by encouraging them to reflect on the richness of mankind’s global cultures and the essential commonality of the human race. These questions are more compelling and the answers are more thoughtful when this inquiry takes place at a university that champions tolerance, diversity, and dialogue. It is this interaction that defines the AUB experience.”
AUB’s commitment to increase its financial aid program is also benefiting the wider community where its graduates will live and work, establish businesses, participate in government¸ and raise their children. “My experience at AUB of meeting different people, hearing different ideas, changed who I am – and how I treat people,” reflects Nadia, a scholarship recipient and AUB alumna who graduated with a degree in computer science.
Thousands of donors – 4,386 to be exact – participated in the 34-month drive to build AUB’s financial aid program. They were a diverse group: long-time donors and first-time supporters, alumni with strong ties to the University, and friends who have only recently joined the AUB family; the group includes individuals, organizations, businesses, and foundations from 41 countries around the world.
While most donors made individual contributions, others banded together to make class gifts or to contribute as members of WAAAUB alumni chapters.
While some donors made major gifts to establish named endowed scholarship funds, thousands of small gifts contributed to the success of this campaign as well. Every donation mattered.
Some donors contributed more than once.
When asked why they donate, many AUB supporters point to the University’s deep roots and strong commitment to the region. “When you give money for financial aid at AUB,” business alumnus Imad explained, “you feel like you are investing in Lebanon and also in the future of the region. When you give to AUB’s financial aid program, you support its mission to serve the peoples of the Middle East and beyond."