According to President Jabbra, LAU is "becoming a major force to reckon with in higher education, not only in Lebanon but throughout the entire region," noting that LAU recently established a nursing school in conjunction with Northeastern University and that it will also be admitting the first class to its new medical school next fall.
Richard Rumsey, LAU's Vice President for University Advancement, said:
"We're excited about where LAU is headed and the tremendous strides that the university has made over the last couple of years both in its growth and in the quality of education it provides. This campaign reinforces LAU's commitments to both build on its successes and to work very hard at providing an American-style education to more students in the region."
A significant portion of the money raised during the campaign will be used to provide scholarships and financial aid to needy students - something that Jabbra has been especially committed to doing since he took over as president of LAU in 2004. Funds will also be used to attract and retain top-level faculty to the university. Since 1992, LAU has doubled its full-time faculty, a trend which the university hopes to continue in the years to come. The campaign will also support the building and improvement of new facilities, including the Rose-Marie Chagoury Medical School, the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing and the Frem Civic Center, all of which are currently under construction on the Byblos campus.
The fact that LAU's fundraising campaign is kicking off during one of the most challenging economic times in more than a generation provides an additional obstacle. However, according to Robert Hollback, LAU's Director of Development for North America, the university's uniqueness will continue to make it compelling to donors.
"LAU has a long history of providing an American-style liberal arts education to students in the Middle East, and we're one of only a handful of universities doing this in the region. This mandate is something that differentiates us from so many other universities, said Robert Hollback.