Where do you live and what do you do?
I currently live in Seattle, Washington. I’m the Founder and CEO of Attendible, a local social board that lets you discover amazing events and stay up to date with your favorite venues and interests. We are trying to change the way we discover local events and people.
How did you become involved with LAU?
I became involved when I was still living in Florida. We had a pretty established and active Lebanese club at the University of Florida called the Lebanese American Society. We were contacted by Ed Shiner, Director of Alumni and Special Projects, and since a good deal of us were LAU alumni, it was natural to create the LAU Alumni Chapter in Florida. Both the Chapter and the Lebanese American Society club were a great experience, so when I moved to Seattle, I tried to replicate it with Ed’s help. We founded the Seattle Alumni Chapter in 2011.
What are the future plans for the Seattle chapter?
Our future plan is to have more and more events and interactions with the broader Lebanese and Arab community. It would also be great to partner with big companies here in Seattle like Microsoft, Amazon or Boeing and leverage them to channel support and partnership for LAU.
Do you plan on using Attendible to promote alumni events in the Seattle?
Attendible would be a great platform to surface and promote the alumni events and reach out to the non-alumni Seattleites.
Along with on-line donations, recurring gifts and planned giving, another great and easy way for donors to support LAU is to directly donate stock to the university. This not only provides the university with the funds it needs to support students, departments and programs, but provides a positive tax benefit to the donor as well.
“It is beneficial to donate stock versus a cash gift in the event that the stock has appreciated significantly above the purchase price or ‘cost.’ By donating the stock, the donor receives a charitable tax deduction of the current market price,” said David Grosner, CFA, CAIA, Senior Investment Officer at the New York Office.
“However, if the donor sold the stock and then donated the proceeds, the donor would still be responsible for the taxes on the sale. In the US, most donors are likely to be in the 15 percent capital gains rate and above, so taxes could be a significant part of the donation.”
To donate stock, a donor would have their broker transfer stock from their account to LAU’s. The directions on the transfer process are on a form available by contacting the New York Office. All shares are transferred electronically through the Depository Trust Company (DTC). The donation process involves very little work for the donor other than passing along the instructions to their broker.
Once LAU receives a stock donation, all securities are liquidated into cash so they can be used for the appropriate needs. LAU does not hold securities once they are received, as the risk of individual stocks or mutual funds are great, and LAU wants to maintain the amount donated without losing principal.
And just like any other gift to LAU, donors can indicate where they want their donation to go or how they would like their gift to be used.
This article is not intended, nor should it be used, as legal or professional advice. Before making any gift described in this article, you should consult with a professional financial advisor.
To find more information about donating stocks, shares and other gifts visit: http://campaign.lau.edu.lb/ways-to-give
In January, LAU President Dr. Joseph Jabbra visited Houston to update the medical community on LAU’s progress and medical programs. Houston has the largest medical center in the world and various hospitals in the area. Several prominent Lebanese-American doctors practice in Houston and some have returned to Lebanon to teach and practice at University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital and the School of Medicine.
Some of the individuals and organizations Dr. Jabbra met include: Cathy Easter, President and CEO of Methodist Hospital International, Kimon Angelides, CEO of Eos Health System, and George and Dorothy Boliettieri from Medical Bridges.
LAU’s Social Medicine Program plays a significant role for the university, both in Lebanon and the United States. One key aspect of this program is its work at the Volunteer Outreach Clinic (VOC) in the Shatila Refugee Camp. For the past several years, the New York Development Office has helped raise funds to support the activities LAU undertakes at the VOC.
Through the work of Bob Hollback, LAU’s Assistant Vice President for Development, and LAU supporter Anan Anabtawi, LAU recently received an in-kind donation of medical supplies and equipment worth more than $109,000 from Medical Bridges, a non-profit organization based in the United States that donates medicine and equipment to hospitals and clinics in developing countries. It was Anan’s connections that ultimately put Bob in contact with Medical Bridges.
“This is the largest gift of medical supplies LAU has received and will allow students and faculty to provide more complete examinations and treatment of patients in the Shatila Refugee Camp,” Bob said. In addition, LAU President Dr. Joseph Jabbra recently met with representatives of Medical Bridges as the next step in establishing an ongoing relationship with this organization.
The Social Medicine Program provides primary healthcare services to residents of the Shatila Refugee Camp at little or no cost and serves as a teaching and learning experience for LAU faculty and students. The New York Development Office has been instrumental in helping secure funds, supplies and equipment.
According to Bob, the New York Development Office’s involvement began when Dr. Mona Haidar, Instructor in Medicine/Social Medicine, approached the office about raising funds for the Social Medicine Program. “We identified individuals and organizations that we thought would be interested in supporting this program,” said Bob, “and approached them with information on the difference that our faculty members and students are making through their work at the clinic. The results have been gratifying.”
The LAU community in Lebanon supports the Social Medicine Program as well. Medical, pharmacy, nursing, social work and psychology students rotate through the VOC to learn about real-world healthcare and provide assistance to the Shatila refugee community. They practice skills they learn in the classroom while at the same time providing essential medical and mental health services to a community that, in many cases, has no other access to healthcare.
“The LAU and VOC partnership is a great example of the much needed collaboration between academia and NGOs to improve health in underserved areas. For most students, this is a transforming and positive experience that encourages them to be innovative and think out of the box to provide solutions to health problems,” said Dr. Haidar.
The Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) has received a new award, the Mary Turner Lane Award, from Dr. Mary Ellen Lane in honor of her late mother, founder of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. This award is given to a currently enrolled LAU student who writes the best research paper or original essay on women and gender studies. The purpose of this award is to raise awareness about IWSAW and encourage research in the field of women and gender studies.
Dr. Lane, Executive Director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers lived in Egypt from 1979-1986 and says her mother’s dedication to the education and advancement of women inspired this award.
“My mother transformed her life into a life of service. She started out as a traditional 1940s housewife, but conditions forced her to take direction of her own life. She attended Salem College for Women and married my father during World War II. He died in an accident when my mother was 29. Rather than live a sad life, she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, earned her Ph.D. in Education at Duke University, and helped persuade UNC to launch a women’s studies program.”
Although Dr. Lane spent extensive time working and researching in Egypt, she always had an interest in Lebanon. “I learned about LAU when I met some scholars from LAU in Turkey. When I found out about IWSAW, I wanted to help it out in a small way, and have my mother remembered through an award. I got the idea that the department could use this award to draw attention to its good work. My mother did not have a connection with Lebanon, but she loved the Arab World and would be happy to know that I set up this small but significant award.”
On November 8, 2012, IWSAW recognized its first grantees of the Mary Turner Lane Award. Patil Yessayan, Sawsan Khanafer and Marie Murray received the award for best research-focused essay for their paper on women in Lebanese politics, and Leanne Abou Hassan was awarded best personal essay for her paper on the sociological position of women in the Arab world.
“This award is a testament to our university’s commitment to the education of women, women’s rights, and honoring young female students who, as future leaders in the country and region, will endeavor to make gender justice a reality in our country,” said Dr. Dima Dabbous-Sensenig, director of IWSAW.
Dr. Lane plans to raise more funds for this award and strengthen IWSAW’s relationship with UNC. “I am hoping to develop relations between women’s studies at LAU and UNC and encourage faculty and student exchanges. I am also hoping to raise more money from my mother’s colleagues for this award.”
IWSAW was founded in 1973 and engages in academic research on women in the Arab world. The institute plays an integral role within LAU by developing and integrating women’s studies into the university’s curriculum. LAU’s dedication to the education of women dates back to its beginnings when it was established in 1924 as the American Junior College for Women, the first women’s college in the Middle East.