“Life is about giving and taking,” says Abdallah Yabroudi, an LAU supporter who has an eight-year track record of giving generously towards scholarships at the institution.
His solid belief in giving back, combined with an encounter with members of the LAU community at a university alumni gathering in the UAE earlier this spring, led to the launch of the School of Engineering’s recent “mini campaign” to raise $250,000 toward helping currently enrolled students in critical financial need.
“We were inspired by Yabroudi’s empathy and generosity and decided to launch this mini campaign towards the Engineering Students’ Emergency Relief Fund, putting pressure on ourselves in terms of time and effort to raise the amount in just three months,” explains the Dean of the School of Engineering George Nasr, who played a pivotal role in the initiative along with Nicole Barghoud, Director of Development at LAU.
“The campaign served as a practical driver for Nicole and me to knock on every door possible looking for partnership with engineering industry leaders and other special benefactors in this worthwhile endeavor to help students in dire need,” points out Dean Nasr. Together with Barghoud, he visited dozens of corporations and individuals to inform them of LAU’s latest achievements and secure funds for student scholarships.
Dean Nasr’s active participation in the university’s fundraising efforts is something that many universities count on from their academic leaders, and an approach that LAU is advocating firmly. In October 2015, the Office of Development brought together all of the university’s deans and advancement leaders for a two-day fundraising workshop to provide awareness and coaching. Indeed, the results one year later are encouraging considering that the engineering mini campaign has nearly met the target with $223,700 raised so far, in large part to Dean Nasr.
“Fundraising is really a team effort that involves engagement and effort from all university stakeholders,” explains LAU’s Assistant Vice President for Development, Nassib Nasr. “The partnership of Dean Nasr and Nicole is a model that really demonstrates what can be accomplished when you join forces for a common and worthy goal. We are so excited for this fundraising achievement and are very hopeful for similar initiatives from across the campus,” he adds.
And there is a lot to be excited about. The money raised through the engineering mini campaign will go toward establishing scholarships to help dozens of students.
“Many students consider dropping out of university, but through this fundraising initiative, and with the support of the dean who made the campaign a priority, we will able to respond to an urgent situation and disperse funds to LAU’s most prized assets — it’s students,” stresses Barghoud.
As CEO of leading engineering company Dubai Contracting Company (DCC), Yabroudi understands the need to educate the region’s youth and continues to offer many scholarship and internship opportunities to students in the region and beyond.
Commenting on his substantial efforts, Yabroudi explains, “I believe that giving to an institution like LAU will have a great impact on society that will resonate for generations to come.”