AUC Community Donor Recognition: 'This is What AUC is All About'

“AUC really helped enhance the person I am today. I donated to the Senior Class Gift and the President’s Challenge Fund because giving back, even if it’s a little amount, is what matters. The value is in the contribution. As a receiver of the emergency tuition scholarships and financial aid, I give thanks to all donors, as you have enabled me to continue this beautiful journey,” said Lobna Fayez, a graduating senior double majoring in communications and media arts as well as political science who is also a member of AUC’s swim team, describing why she chooses to give back to AUC.

Fayez spoke at a reception on Thursday to recognize members of the AUC community who donated to the University this year, raising a collective $34,161, which was matched with $30,000 from President Francis J. Ricciardone and Dr. Marie Ricciardone.

 “There’s no higher calling, no better feeling than helping young people grow and develop, growing human capital, helping us become an even stronger and more resilient society. By our everyday work with our students, we’re getting something meaningful in our lives,” said President Ricciardone.

 At the reception, faculty, staff, alumni and students gathered together at Watson Hall to reflect on the different reasons why they choose to donate to AUC. President Ricciardone celebrated the 35 percent increase in participation and 20 percent increase in donations this year, thanking all attendees for their dedicated support to the University.

Student Donors

Echoing Fayez’s sentiments, Mariam Thabet, an economics graduating senior who is a recipient of the Atef and Fofa Eltoukhy Family Endowed Scholarship, said, “I’m a full-scholarship student, and I know the importance of giving back to AUC because you give a chance to other recipients to learn from such a great University.”

Amira Mostafa, an economics graduating senior, also emphasized the importance of giving back to AUC. “I give to AUC because it’s my home, and we should give back to our home. Even if it’s a small amount, it matters. In the future, if I’m able to give more, I will do so to help enhance AUC’s learning environment.”

Supporting Students

Additionally, many faculty and staff members donate to AUC scholarships to help support students. “I gave to the Emergency Tuition Scholarship Program to help students afford their education after the financial crash,” said Stephen Nimis, professor and chair of Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Staff members, a vital component of the University infrastructure, donated significantly to the AUC Annual Fund, with their donations making up 25 percent of all donations. Also keen on making AUC accessible to a wide range of students, Ola Shanab, executive assistant to the chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, said, “I give to AUC to support scholarships for students.”

President Ricciardone also honored Shahira El Sawy, dean of Libraries and Learning Technologies (LLT), and Huguette Yaghmour, director of Library Automation Systems, who have both donated to the University for 15 consecutive years.

Alumni Network

President Ricciardone stressed the significance of the alumni community and its participation, both through attendance of events and contributions. Omar El Shenety ‘05, founder of Multiples Group boutique investment bank in Dubai, addressed donors, reflecting on his experience at AUC and attributing much of his success to the scholarships he received while in University.

“I think this is a significant reason for why I am where I am,” he noted. “Without such kind scholarships and the support that people gave, people like me would have never had the chance to come to AUC or progress socially, get educated and have a positive effect in the community.”

Omar Khalifa ‘08, managing director of Omedia, similarly feels that AUC largely shaped his career and personal growth. “AUC made me the person that I am today,” he affirmed. “You can give back a small, symbolic amount, and that shows your appreciation. It contributes to the next generation in a direct way, and it’s something that makes me proud. I’ll always be thankful to AUC.”

Noha Bakr ’87, ’91, adjunct faculty in the Department of Political Science, and Loal H. Zoheir ‘02, sales director of Telecom Egypt, are also regular donors who help the University engage the community, encouraging alumni, students, faculty and staff to contribute to AUC’s growth.

“I give back to the University because I believe in the cause. It’s important to give to better help students and contribute to developing the best caliber of students, the crème de la crème of the University,” Zoheir explained.

Bakr noted that she too is committed to supporting the University. “I give to show solidarity with my University, and I believe in the importance of donating to support scholarships,” she said.

President Ricciardone noted the importance of any gift, no matter how small, and highlighted the symbolic significance of participation. “It shows commitment. It inspires. It helps teach and encourage others to give, and that’s what AUC is all about: teaching, giving and service to others,” he asserted.