New Cohort of 66 USP Graduates Celebrated
LAU and USAID recognize the graduates, and mark the end of their undergraduate journey in virtual ceremony.
Together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), LAU hosted a virtual ceremony to celebrate the graduation of 66 University Scholarship Program (USP) scholars who have earned their undergraduate degrees with the full support of USAID.
Welcoming guests, President Michel E. Mawad shared that with this new USP cohort, LAU is celebrating “a decade of students graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above, implementing intensive and meaningful community service projects, and engaging in hours of volunteerism and leadership-based activities.”
He thanked USAID and the generosity of the American people as LAU “stands witness to countless life-changing success stories.”
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Michaels congratulated the USP graduates, while acknowledging a “longstanding and productive relationship” between the American people and LAU.
In fact, the US has invested more than $150 million in USP in Lebanon since 2010, in addition to $73 million provided by the Middle East Partnership Initiative. LAU’s new graduates brought the total to over 1300 students from all over Lebanon to have received a full undergraduate scholarship.
Addressing the students, Micheals implored them to “apply the same determination they had exhibited at LAU to help build back a better Lebanon and shape its future.”
LAU Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Management Elise Salem pointed out that this event marks “the tenth year of a winning partnership which has provided scholarships to most deserving and remarkable young women and men from across Lebanon’s 26 districts.” She congratulated the students on their “academic successes, leadership potential and impactful citizenship in a country that so desperately needs you.”
Expanding on the rigorous academic, leadership and community service requirement of the program, Program Director and Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Civic Engagement Elie Samia gave an overview of the graduates’ outstanding achievements. Confirming the three objectives of the grant – academic excellence, civic engagement and productive employment – fully achieved, he addressed the cohort saying: “You continue to epitomize the very values of this distinctive program.”
During the event, USP scholars gave live and recorded testimonials on the impact of the scholarships on their personal and professional growth.
Speaking on behalf of her graduating cohort, banking and finance major Maryse Abi Haidar spoke about her LAU journey, rich in internships and workshops, some of which she had delivered herself. She urged her colleagues to “continue to seek learning, and not to give up in the face of difficulty.”