Commencement 2024

Honorary Degree Recipients


Princess Wijdan Bint Fawaz Al Hashemi

Commencement Exercises | June 11 | Byblos Campus

Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi is an artist, art historian, curator, academic and diplomat, who served as ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Republic of Italy from 2006 until 2011.

After completing her bachelor’s in history at Beirut College for Women (BCW), now LAU, in 1961, she obtained an MA and PhD in Islamic Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and became a SOAS Fellow in 2010. In the late 1950s, early 1960s, she received private tutoring in painting from the late Italian artist Armando Prön and Muhanna Durra, a pioneer of Cubism and abstract art in Jordan.

Princess Al Hashemi has held several solo and group exhibitions in Jordan, Dubai, Italy, Spain, Australia and the US. Her works have been exhibited at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, the British Museum in London, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC. In addition to her artwork, Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi has published numerous articles and books on Islamic art. Her notable works include Modern Islamic Art: Development and Continuity and Contemporary Art from the Islamic World.

In 1979, Princess Al Hashemi established the Royal Society of Fine Arts which founded the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts a year later. She also founded the Higher Institute of Islamic Art and Architecture at Al al-Beit University in Jordan and the School of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan. From 2002 to 2006 she served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan.  

Among many awards, she is the recipient of the Order of the State Centennial, the Al-Hussein Bin Talal Gold Medal for Artistic Achievement, Jordan, and the French Ministry of Culture’s Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


Dr. Rabab Abdul-Kader Kreidieh Ward

Commencement Exercises | June 11 | Byblos Campus 

Dr. Rabab Abdul-Kader Kreidieh Ward is a professor emerita in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and vice president–Educational Activities at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Dr. Ward graduated from the University of Cairo with a BS in Computer Engineering in 1966. After completing an MS and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California (UC), Berkeley in 1972, she embarked on a stellar career marked by many firsts for women in engineering.

She was the first woman to be appointed professor in Zimbabwe, the first to become a member of the Lebanese Professional Engineering Society, and the first woman with a PhD to be appointed professor of electrical engineering in Canada.

She was also the first woman to win the IEEE Fourier Award for signal Processing—the highest honor in signal processing worldwide — The Norbert Wiener Society Award—the top IEEE Signal Processing Society Award—and the RA Machlachlan Award, the highest distinction of the Association of Professional Engineers in British Columbia, emphasizing significant technical contributions and leadership, in engineering.

Dr. Ward’s research focuses on signal, image, and video processing. Her contributions to the field include signal detection, image encoding, compression, recognition, restoration and enhancement, and their applications in cable TV, HDTV, medical imaging, infant cry signals, and brain-computer interfaces. She has published over 240 papers in refereed journals, 350 refereed conference articles, and holds 10 patents. In her teaching career, she has supervised 47 PhD and 50 master’s students.

She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, the Royal Society of Canada, the IEEE, and the Engineering Institute of Canada.


Mr. Henri Zoghaib

Commencement Exercises | June 14 | Beirut Campus

Mr. Henri Zoghaib is a renowned Lebanese poet and writer with many poetry and prose oeuvres to his name.

He joined LAU in 2002 as a founder and director of the Center for Lebanese Heritage (CLH), a post that he holds today.  Under his leadership and in its endeavors to promote the country’s tangible and intangible heritage, the center has held tens of lectures, hosted round table discussions as well as local and international conferences in the US and Europe, and published a bi-annual refereed journal, Mirrors of Heritage. His translation into Arabic of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet was recently published by the CLH.

Since 2004, Mr. Zoghaib has written the weekly column Azrâr in An-Nahar newspaper and has served as literary editor for various Lebanese and Arab dailies, journals and magazines. In addition to Arabic poetry, prose and plays, Mr. Zoghaib has authored anthologies and biographies on Gibran Khalil Gibran, Nizar Qabbani, Elias Abu Shabaka and Said Akl.

Several of his published books have been translated into English and French, among which his work on Said Akl (Orient des Livres–Beirut), and a collection of poems titled In Forbidden Time (Syracuse University Press, NY).

In his leadership roles, Mr. Zoghaib has presided over the International Association for the Study of the Life and Works of Kahlil Gibran, and chaired the Council of Authors and Composers in Lebanon and the Cultural Committee within the National Commission of UNESCO.

He has taught Lebanese literature and heritage at various secondary and universities and continues to host two radio shows.


Mrs. Manal Boukzam Saab

Commencement Exercises | June 15 | Beirut Campus

Mrs. Manal Boukzam Saab is the chief executive officer of Sorenson Gross Construction Services in Flint, Michigan, having previously spent 17 years in public health administration at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an active member of philanthropic institutions dedicated to promoting education, the Arab American heritage and empowering communities in the US and Lebanon. 

Mrs. Saab is an emerita member of the Board of Governors of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a founding member of the national professional advisory board of the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, and co-founder and a former trustee of Takreem USA, and the René Moawad Foundation. She also serves as a trustee on several boards, including the American Druze Foundation Board of Trustees where under her chairmanship they endowed a fellowship in Druze and Arab Minorities at Georgetown University in Washington DC.   

In 2020, she co-founded the Lebanon Relief Project which undertook shipping nearly $50 million worth of medicines and medical supplies to Lebanon in the aftermath of the August 4 Beirut Port Explosion.

She and her husband, Mr. Ghassan Saab, are the recipients of the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy, Michigan’s most prestigious philanthropy award, for their contributions to education and research; the Rotary International Crystal Award; the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award by TAKREEM USA; the American Task Force on Lebanon 2023 Issam M. Fares International Leadership Award; and the US Ellis Island Medal of Honor.