Lebanon’s Newest Nurses Honored

LAU honors graduates of the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing in a Recognition and Pinning Ceremony.

By Alyce Abi Shdid

ARCSON faculty and staff with keynote speaker Dr. Naeema Al-Gasseer (5th from left).
Dr. Kulwicki, along with Dr. Al-Gasseer, presented the graduates with the symbolic pin.
Class representative Joelle Abou Hamra encouraged her colleagues to use their skills to benefit the world around them.
A group of graduates with ARCSON faculty and keynote speaker Dr. Naeema Al-Gasseer.

Lebanon’s newest cohort of nurses was honored on May 29, when the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing (ARCSON) held its Recognition and Pinning Ceremony for the class of 2018.

ARCSON Dean Dr. Anahid Kulwicki addressed the graduating students, thanking them for their dedication and noting the achievements they’ve made over their years at the school. She advised them to follow their dreams of serving their communities, elevating the field of nursing, and working to make the world a safer and healthier place.

LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra took the stage to recount a meeting he once had with Gilbert Chagoury, in which the generous patron expressed his wish to donate funds for LAU to build a school of nursing named after his mother, Alice Ramez Chagoury.

“The School of Nursing has a very unique spirit: a spirit to serve each other, to serve society, and to do whatever we can to help our young people in the nursing profession,” Jabbra said.

He asked the new graduates to carry the torch of the nursing profession. “Believe in your dreams,” he told the crowd, “but believe more in your drive to realize your dreams.”

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Naeema Al-Gasseer, a Bahraini native, United Nations World Health Organization Representative, humanitarian and pioneer in the nursing profession. She spoke of her hope that the next generation of nursing professionals would make a positive impact in the world. “Nursing is not only in the hospital settings. Go out into your community and serve, volunteer, be role models,” she said.

Al-Gasseer warned of the challenges facing the Middle East, particularly high levels of obesity and rising smoking rates. She encouraged the graduates to take the opportunity to involve themselves in dialogue with policy makers to focus more often on preventative rather than simply curative care, and to produce lasting change.

Each graduate was given a pin as a symbolic welcome to the field of nursing. As is customary for nursing programs, ARCSON designed the unique pin given to the students.

Students then took the Nightingale Pledge – named after the founding mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale – which upholds the principles of the profession and marks the graduates’ commitment to the welfare of their patients.

Ten graduates received awards, including the President’s Circle Award, the Dean’s Research Award and the Dean’s Inspirational Award for achievements during their studies, excellence in academics, spirit of practice and volunteerism. The awards were sponsored by the President’s Circle; Dean Kulwicki, who has focused much of her career on nursing research that contributes to the improvement of health in vulnerable populations; Dr. Shaké Ketefian, nursing professor emerita at the University of Michigan; Dr. Wassim Shahin, LAU professor of economics, who contributed to the awards in recognition of his aunt for her leadership in nursing; and Chady and Hiba Yazbeck Wehbe, who volunteer and financially support organizations that partake in cancer treatment, as well as educational facilities and programs.

Graduating class representative Joelle Abou Hamra thanked LAU faculty and staff, parents and her classmates for their continuous support. She encouraged her colleagues to find ways to use their skills to benefit the world around them, adding that learning opportunities never end: “Instruction does not finish in the classroom, and learning continues through life.”