The graduating class of 2013 has donated more than $33,000 to the Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund, a student-led financial aid initiative at the American University of Beirut (AUB) that has benefited 122 young scholars since its inception in 2002, including 15 students this academic year. In the past decade, the Fingerprints fund has grown in value to $1.3 million through the generosity of graduating students and matching gifts from Trustees and the University Student Faculty Committee. The Fingerprints Endowed Scholarship Fund encourages graduating students to leave their “fingerprints” on the University, by donating a minimum $25 toward scholarships. This year, 942 students from the Class of 2013 – 51 percent — contributed to the fund, raising a total of $33,347. In appreciation of the students' generous philanthropy, AUB Trustee Randa Haffar has pledged $10,000 to the Fingerprints fund.
AUB is committed to raising funds for financial aid to provide support and scholarships for economically underserved and other deserving students. Over the past decade, AUB's comprehensive financial aid program has grown almost 10 times, to reach $21 million for this academic year. “Reaching this goal has been an historic effort and will help us reach our ultimate goal of being able to make an AUB education a possibility for all those who have worked hard enough to qualify for admission, but are blocked only by financial constraints,” said AUB President Peter Dorman, during a reception held on June 5, 2013 to celebrate the Fingerprints program. “Financial aid transforms the lives not just of the men and women receiving support today, but is transformative for their classmates who contribute to the diversity of this vibrant campus.” "The significance of the Fingerprints program is that it is a drive by the students and for the students,” said Imad Baalbaki, associate vice president for development. “These AUB graduates-to-be want to ensure that bright, but financially-challenged, students get a chance for a life-changing AUB education similar to the one they had." Two students, whose education was partly supported by the Fingerprints fund, profusely expressed their gratitude for the fund and for the generosity of their fellow students. Sami Malek, a fourth year engineering student, said that when he was first notified that he was receiving financial aid from the Fingerprints fund, he did not realize exactly what that meant. “The more I read about it (Fingerprints), the more I started to understand how special and meaningful the aid I've been receiving throughout these years has been. I suddenly became extremely grateful to all contributing graduates since 2002,” he said. “For those who felt they needed more aid to make their experience at AUB smoother, you have the strongest reason to contribute. For those who benefited most from the funds, you know best what your contribution can do, so give back. I feel happy and blessed by those who contributed and they themselves are needy, for by the little you give, you are giving the most.” Razane Hanna, a first year agriculture student, said that were it not for AUB’s “strong financial aid program,” many would not be able to afford to study here.“I was lucky enough to have been given a chance to attend a university like AUB, and without the help of all of you, so many students wouldn’t even consider applying here,” she said. “I also believe that you, being AUB alumni, know how valuable an education this university provides us: Your help comes from experience, knowledge and the willingness to assist strangers who will later follow in your footsteps.”