NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lebanese American University (LAU) inaugurated its New York Headquarters and Academic Center on September 13, demonstrating the university's pioneering commitment to global education and cross-cultural understanding.
The opening ceremony was attended by a number of prominent Lebanese figures, including H.E. Ahmad Hariri, H.E. Nayla Mouawad, H.E. Mona Safadi, and Lebanon's Ambassador to the United Nations H.E. Nawaf Salam.
"Some 177 years ago the U.S. sent a wonderful gift to Lebanon," said LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, referring to Sarah Huntington Smith, the American missionary who founded the American School for Girls, which grew into LAU. "Today LAU is returning that gift to the U.S., opening this center in the heart of Manhattan to serve New York and the entire nation."
The center at 211 E 46th Street will offer courses to U.S.-based students in a variety of fields including Islamic banking and finance, peace education, gender studies in the Arab world, and Arabic language. The high-tech facility, which comprises approximately 30,000 square feet over three floors, features ten classrooms, business and admissions offices, a student lounge, and a library. It also houses LAU's New York Advancement staff. The Center will welcome its first students in Fall 2013. LAU has initiated partnerships with several U.S. universities to allow students to transfer credits for courses taken at the Center.
Marking the inauguration, LAU hosted a two-day international conference on Global Outreach and Leadership (GOAL). It brought together over 100 leading education and policy professionals to discuss youth engagement, global education and leadership.
The center is designed to be a platform for global learning and cross-cultural exchange. "Recent surveys by the National Geographic Society and the Asia Society point to a global decline in multicultural awareness and show that students lack adequate understanding of different cultures," said Dr. Elie Badr, assistant provost for Academic Programs, assistant to the president and strategy officer for External Projects and Related Entities. "In an increasingly globalized world, LAU believes universities must play a crucial role in furthering intercultural understanding, education, and interaction."
The inauguration crowned a week of activity in New York, which included the university's third annual North America Gala and the bi-annual Board of Trustees meeting.
SOURCE Lebanese American University