Today U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale visited Haigazian University to learn more about the progress of the University Scholarship Program (USP) students from 2010 to date and meet with 64 USP participants.
The USP awards merit-based undergraduate scholarships to qualified students from public schools in 22 different districts of Lebanon. Scholarships cover tuition fees, books, living expenses, housing, and medical insurance. Students pursue an American-style education that promotes tolerance, gender and social equality, and challenges students to develop skills in leadership, critical thinking, and initiative.
The visit started with a short meeting with University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, after which Ambassador Hale had a look at the students’ exhibit booths, featuring their social entrepreneurship projects.
USP Program Manager at Haigazian University, Ms. Maissam Nimer, shared with the audience the progress and major achievements of the USP scholars.
In his word, President Haidostian thanked USAID for years of financial support to deserving students, noting that “a balanced life in the modern world is based on a balance of multi-cultural education.” Haidostian concluded by sharing the fact that “Haigazian University has been and remains to be a bridge builder among cultures and ethnicities, bringing components of the Arab, Armenian, and American cultures into a harmonious mix.”
Student Riva Sariedine shared her experience as a USP scholar, after which the audience listened to Ambassador Hale’s remarks, who expressed his happiness for the opportunity to meet and interact with an impressive group of Lebanese youth.
Hale highlighted the importance of education in the 21st century, saying “we believe that education encourages innovation, nurtures creativity and develops entrepreneurship.” Moreover, he emphasized on the spirit of the USP program, that of “promoting a balance between personal entrepreneurship and social responsibility. A balance attentive to community needs, relevant to the public interest and meaningful for the development of Lebanon.”
On “entrepreneurship”, Hale explained that the concept is not a “fashion trend”, instead “one of the pillars of economic growth and social development. It helps in creating jobs, advancing innovation, and keeping the economy vibrant.”
The visit concluded with Ambassador Hale and the delegation, mingling with students to hear about their plans and aspirations for the future.
Public Relations Director