The American University of Beirut received on January 24 a $1.5 million check from the United States Agency for International Development for student scholarships.
The check donation covered scholarships granted to 854 meritorious yet needy Lebanese students who were studying at AUB during the 2010 academic year.
US Ambassador Maura Connelly presented the check to AUB President Peter Dorman in the presence of a number of senior administrators from AUB and the embassy as well as students who had benefited from the scholarships.
Dorman highlighted AUB's commitment to student diversity, noting how scholarships help the University attract students from all socio-economic levels.
"Scholarship aid we received from our donors, especially USAID and the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program are vitally important for us in supporting our facilities, educational programs, and students," said Dorman. "We take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the American people… whose generosity continues unabated."
Describing AUB as "a pillar of Lebanon's educational system since its founding," Ambassador Connelly emphasized the importance of providing education to Lebanese youth and thanked AUB for its important role in developing the region's future leaders.
"The high value placed on education is something that the Lebanese and American people share in common…I can think of no better investment by the United States in Lebanon than in education, in the youth of this country, who constitute the promise of a better tomorrow," she said.
Over the past 10 years, USAID has donated about $21 million to AUB in scholarship and educational grants, noted the ambassador.
Following the check donation, the ambassador and USAID Lebanon Mission Director Jim Barnhart mingled with students who told them about their academic and career objectives and the importance of USAID scholarships in helping them achieve their goals.