For Immediate Release
    June 10, 2024
    Contact: Communication and Alumni Relations Office
    Rafik Hariri University
    009615603090 Ext. 603 - 755

    RHU celebrates its 23rd annual commencement, creating lasting memories for the class of 2024 and their parents

    RHU held its 23rd annual commencement on the evening of June 8, 2024, at the picturesque RHU campus in Mechref, under the patronage of Mrs. Nazik Rafik Hariri, President of RHU Board of Trustees and President of Rafik Hariri Foundation, represented by Ms. Huda Tabbara, and in the presence of the Director General of the Rafik Hariri Foundation, Ms. Salwa Siniora Baasiri. A cohort of 240 graduates enjoyed a proud and accomplished evening with their parents and friends with a live-streamed ceremony on the RHU Facebook page starting at 6 p.m.



    The event was graced by the presence of former Prime Minister Mr. Fouad Siniora, current and former ministers, and members of parliament. Additionally, the university’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Daoud Al-Sayegh and Fadi Fawaz were in attendance. Also present at the ceremony were Mr. Ahmed Hijazi, the director of Mrs. Nazik Hariri’s office, Dr. Jamil Odeh, Ms. Nazek Hariri’s brother, Mr. Ahmed Hashimieh, the President of the Beirut Development Association, along with several school principals and distinguished guests. Notably, Professor Saeed Ladki, who is set to become the future RHU president, was also present and will begin his duties on August 1, 2024.




    The academic procession, led by the RHU Vice Presidents, college deans, chairs, faculty members, and senior staff, all dressed in academic costumes, strode across the campus amidst applause and cheers from family and friends.


    The degree ceremony began with the Lebanese national anthem and a moment of silence in memory of RHU founder, the late Prime Minister Martyr Rafik Hariri. The RHU senior lecturer and master of ceremony, Dr. Loubna Saleh, delivered a warm welcoming address, acknowledging the efforts and celebrating the achievement of the class of 2024. She then invited graduating class representatives Enas Tarabay and Ibrahim Itani to give their speeches. Both appeared wearing the Palestinian Kufiya on their shoulders in solidarity with the martyrs of Gaza. They delivered inspiring speeches, highlighting their achievements in the face of challenges, and expressing appreciation for their parents' genuine love and support, as well as the commitment of professors and academic staff in imparting the best knowledge to them.




    The Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Mahmoud Halablab, then gave his speech in which he discussed the concept of graduation, emphasizing that it represents years of hard work and perseverance. He highlighted RHU's commitment to enhancing its programs to meet market requirements and uphold excellence, in line with the vision of the university's founding president, Rafik Hariri. Dr. Halablab wished the graduates a promising future and noted that next year will be the silver jubilee of the founding of Rafik Hariri University, which graduated nearly 5,000 students who held top positions or obtained doctorates from prestigious international universities.



    Dr. Halablab introduced Professor Saeed Ladki as the new RHU President. Dr. Ladki holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and a doctorate from Virginia Tech. He has served as a professor at several universities, including the Lebanese American University, where he was also the Dean of the College of Business. He brings a wealth of academic and administrative experience, vision, and a strong connection to the Hariri Foundation and its mission.



    Taking the stage, Dr. Nasser Yassin delivered a motivational address as the 2024 RHU Commencement Keynote speaker, expressing his pride in being a politician with an academic background and one of the graduates of the Rafik Hariri Foundation. He addressed the graduates on the importance of the skills, knowledge, and experiences they have gained at the university. He emphasized the importance of resilience in dealing with challenges and setbacks, encouraging the graduates to embrace the ability to persevere in the face of adversity.



    Talking about the environment, he emphasized the commitment to restoring natural resources despite recent Israeli attacks on the southern forests as a fundamental element of Lebanon's sustainable development. He also highlighted the importance of national reconciliation for Lebanon's establishment and reconstruction, quoting the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri saying in a similar graduation speech at the American University of Beirut in July 1992, "Lebanon will not be established, built, or upright except with the participation of its sons, all its sons, in the process of national reconciliation."



    Ms. Hoda Tabbara and Dr. Halablab then presented Dr. Nasser Yassin with a memorial plaque in appreciation for his participation as the 2024 Keynote Commencement Speaker. 


    Mr. Imad Eddine Ziad Al Ahmad Matar (College of Business Administration) and Mr. Abbas-Nahle Hilal Dabdoub (College of Engineering) were announced as the winners of the RHU Nazik Rafik Hariri Graduate Studies Award for 2024. RHU has awarded them a full scholarship towards their MS degrees at RHU, being the top-ranked (attained highest GPA) in their respective colleges. 




    In happy succession, RHU Registrar Ms. Nidal Khalaf invited the deans of the Colleges to join RHU Vice President and Mrs. Huda Tabbara on the stage to confer the degrees on the graduates of the Class 2024.


    The ceremony was concluded by setting off firecrackers and taking souvenir photos.

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