The Northern California Alumni Chapter committee attended a tour of the Filoli Gardens in Woodside on May 18. The chapter gathered again, along with the Lebanese American Association, Our Lady of Lebanon Church and World Lebanese Cultural Union at their Annual Spring Picnic on June 9 at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont.
The Toronto Chapter gathered on June 9 for their annual Breakfast in the Park at Thompson Park. Over 140 alumni, family and friends attended the event.
The New York/New Jersey Alumni Chapter went on a tour of the “Little Syria, NY” exhibit presented by the Arab American National Museum in Lower Manhattan on May 22. The exhibit featured photographs, documents and artifacts from the Lebanese and Syrian community in New York City from the late 19th through mid-20th century. Afterwards a small group of the alumni committee met for drinks atop the W Hotel near the World Trade Center.
The Detroit Chapter gathered on May 27 at the Kensington Metropark in Milford for a family and friends picnic. Over 100 people attended the event and they enjoyed boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, trail biking, swimming, a raffle and argileh!
On April 20, the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter met for a family and friends table tennis event at the home of Naji and Gisele Azar, chapter president. Over 50 people attended the event and socialized over lots of good food and drink.
Where do you live and what do you do?
We live in the United States in Virginia, just a few minutes away from Washington D.C. Naji moved to the U.S. in September 1987 and Gisele followed in May 1988. We chose to emigrate to the U.S. because we wanted the opportunity to start fresh, and we are happy owners of a few gas stations.
How did you become involved with LAU?
We both studied and graduated from LAU, Naji graduated in 1983 and Gisele graduated in 1984, and have always said that our best years were spent there. When we were approached by Ed Shiner, LAU Director of Alumni and Special Projects, to start an alumni chapter in Washington D.C., we were very excited to help because we knew a good number of LAU graduates in the area. The chapter was officially started in the summer of 2007, though we had started holding unofficial meetings, social events, and informal gatherings a few years before then. Through this chapter, we have created a network that supports and assists local alumni, new and old. We also wanted to build a community of alumni dedicated to strengthening LAU in Lebanon, and one way we have done that is through the establishment of a scholarship program.
What are your future plans for the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter?
Our future plan is to expand our membership of the D.C. Chapter. We hope to get members more involved in achieving some of our goals, which include: forming a larger network, looking for creative ways to continue our support of LAU students and alumni and aiding LAU’s mission here and in Lebanon in whatever ways we can.