Commencement 2022

Message from the President

Daughters and Sons of LAU

Class of 2022

The annals of your alma mater will always have a special place for you as the first group of graduates we celebrated upon resuming commencement ceremonies after a two-year hiatus caused by multiple factors. A debilitating pandemic, economic mayhem, financial meltdown, social upheaval, and an exchange rate chaos are aspects of the disaster that shaped our lives and did away with commencements over the past two years. The casualty list is far too long for inclusion here.

By any objective measure of time, two years are but a blink in the life of societies and countries. For you, however, at the height of your formative years, they represent a period long enough to have caused indelible agonies, but yet short enough hopefully not to leave any permanent scars.

Let me first share with you that I consider it nothing short of heroic to graduate and move from gown to town at this point in time. The town you are moving to doesn’t look good. Not economically, not politically, not socially and certainly not in terms of visible future prospects. LAU has taught us to recognize facts and address them as they are. As such, what you are going out to can only be described as a monumental challenge that will subject each of you to the ultimate test. 

Rest assured, however, that you are as well prepared for this task as any group of young men and women can be. LAU has primed you for what is to come with a world-class education, state-of-the art standards, the ability to cope with uncertainty, and a sense of self-confidence steeped in humility and deeply imbedded in a service ethic.

You have spent the last two years of your young lives under conditions that are bad enough to unnerve the best among us. You are the best among us and there is nothing wrong in your feeling a bit unnerved. Don’t let it get the better of you, but use it rather as a lesson learnt the hard way and an experience that has forged you into the future-proof persons I know you are. Sometimes the learning curve works in unexpected ways.

You have every reason to feel frustrated and angry, for all that pulls you down is not of your own making. You do, however, have a reason to feel uplifted and walk tall: you carry the LAU insignia wherever you go, for life, and in ways that set you apart from the crowd. You are leaders versed in the art of leadership through service at an institution that has perfected this art in a century of opportunity wrenched out of adversity.  

Dear Graduates of 2022

It is for a very good reason that we call it a commencement. Today for you is a new beginning of a journey into a world where title is sure, much is uncertain, and tomorrow is fraught with risks of all kinds. I firmly believe that you have what it takes to navigate the uncharted waters, leave your mark and hoist your flag as befits your education, training, and character. Throughout this exciting journey, you might find it useful to remember five key facts that will guide you along the way:

  1. Your key to a successful future is lifelong self-learning and constant self-enhancement.
  2. The critical thinking skills you have picked up at LAU will continue to serve you long after specific technical information pertinent to your specializations become obsolete.
  3. Your moral forthrightness and integrity should always define you before anything else.
  4. Crisis management is a great opportunity for learning and no good crisis should be wasted away without a major contribution to your learning curve and without it shaping the traits of your personality.
  5. Enduring success can only happen through helping others. Otherwise, it is incomplete and empty.

Class of 2022

Your alma mater has done all it can to prepare you for the wider world where you will serve as its ambassadors, brand representatives, and visible contribution to society. You will embody our mission, and speak to our identity as an institution.

Your alma mater, however, has had two rough years itself as a result of the crisis but is now emerging stronger and better. You will be proud to know that LAU is undergoing massive self-renewal to be as relevant to your children as it was to you. This is my pledge to the Class of 2022 and, as you well know, we always keep our pledges.

Congratulations to each and every one of you and best wishes for a future commensurate with your ability and ambitions.

You do LAU proud today.

Together we can, and together we shall prevail.

 

Michel E. Mawad, M.D.
President