LAU to inaugurate New York Headquarters and Academic Center on September 13 to further US-Middle East understanding

Sep 05, 2013, 11:06 ET from Lebanese American University

BEIRUT, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LAU will officially open its New York Headquarters and Academic Center in the heart of Manhattan on September 13, bolstering the university's status as a globally-minded institution building bridges between the East and West.

The center at 211 E 46th Street, located just a stone's throw from the United Nations Headquarters, was purchased by LAU in February 2012. The facility, which has been completely redesigned, comprises approximately 30,000 square feet spread across three floors. It features ten classrooms, a business office, an admissions office, a student lounge, and a library, as well as faculty and administrative offices. It will welcome its first students in Fall 2013.

Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra, president of LAU, said: "People talk about the reciprocal responsibilities of 'town and gown.' Today LAU's town is the global village, and its responsibilities extend far beyond the walls of our campuses in Lebanon. As an American institution operating in a region that is itself the subject of intense academic study, our role in fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding is even greater."

Recognizing the transformative possibilities offered by academic globalization, LAU's center in New York will host international conferences and offer courses to students interested in the Middle East.

"At a time when many US institutions are opening satellite campuses in the region, LAU is the first overseas American university to open a center in New York, enabling students there to draw on LAU expertise without necessarily having to travel to Lebanon," said Dr. Elie Badr, assistant provost for Academic Programs, assistant to the president and strategic officer for External Projects and Related Entities.

Students in the US will be able to take classes in Islamic banking and finance, gender studies in the Arab world, peace education, and Arabic language. LAU is currently pursuing partnerships with several US universities to allow their students to transfer credits for courses taken at LAU's New York center.

Inauguration to be marked with gala dinner and international conference

LAU will be marking the inauguration of its New York Headquarters and Academic Center with its third annual gala dinner on September 13, and an international conference on global outreach, leadership and civic engagement (GOAL) on September 13-14. The GOAL conference will bring together about 100 senior education and policy figures from around the world to discuss civic advocacy, youth engagement, global education and diplomacy.

Proceeds from the gala dinner, for which tickets are still available, will go towards supporting LAU's Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW). IWSAW is the oldest institute in the Middle East region devoted to academic research on women and gender relations.

LAU is first American university in Middle East to issue tax-exempt bonds

The inauguration comes just after another historic milestone for the university: On August 7, LAU became the first American higher education institution in the Middle East, whose operation is completely outside the continental U.S., to issue tax-exempt bonds, all of which sold on the New York municipal bond markets within two hours.

The university issued $15 million in tax-exempt bonds, with a yield of 3.3%, and $2.5 million in taxable bonds, with a yield of 4%. The bonds were issued through The New York conduit issuer Build NYC, while the underwriter was Wells Fargo. The five-year bonds mature in August 2018.

Standard and Poor's gave LAU a credit rating of AA-, indicating the university has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.

In February 2008, LAU became the first American university in the Middle East to successfully issue bonds. At that time, it issued $75 million in taxable bonds.

About LAU: LAU's roots date back to 1834, when Presbyterian missionary Sarah Lanman Huntington Smith founded the American School for Girls. It has since grown into a coeducational American university chartered in the State of New York with campuses in Beirut and Byblos with over 8,250 students. It comprises seven schools: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, engineering, architecture and design, arts and sciences, and business. For more information about LAU, visit:      

For more information about the GOAL conference, visit:

For more information about IWSAW, visit:

Image with caption: "LAU's logo." Image available at:

Image with caption: "LAU's New York headquarters and academic center, opening this September." Image available at:

SOURCE Lebanese American University