AUS Giving Day: Uniting for Empowerment and Solidarity

February 12, 2024 / 12:37 PM
Sharjah24: American University of Sharjah (AUS) held its first AUS Giving Day on Saturday, February 10, under the patronage and presence ofmSheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of AUS.
Organized by the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs (OAAA), the one-day event united members of the AUS community in support of the newly established AUS Alumni Advancement and Solidarity Fund. The fund, announced at the AUS Alumni Reunion Dinner in January, aims to aid and empower talented students who are navigating social challenges or emergencies within their communities, ensuring they receive a quality education at AUS. The proceeds from this year's fund will support exceptional students from Palestine whose finances preclude them from studying at AUS.

During the event, Dr. Tod Laursen, Chancellor of AUS, announced the university’s partnership with Sharjah Municipality, which entailed earmarking the citywide parking fees' revenues on February 10, 2024, to contribute to the Advancement and Solidarity Fund. In addition, a further contribution of AED 840,000 was generously donated by the municipality to support the four-year academic journeys of two full-time undergraduate students pursuing their studies at AUS, starting in the Fall 2024 semester. 

Speaking about this partnership, HE Obaid Said Al Tunaiji, Director General at Sharjah Municipality, said: “We are equally excited about our partnership with a prestigious institution, such as AUS. Our support to scholarship aligns with our mission and we look forward to more collaborations in the future.”

The event also saw the launch of the Green Legacy initiative, an exclusive tree-planting campaign in collaboration with Alef Group that not only promotes sustainability and campus greening but also provides support to Palestinian students facing financial difficulties. Donors to the Green Legacy initiative will have a palm tree planted in their name upon donating AED 100,000, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of the campus and the lives of students they are supporting.

Six palm trees were planted in AUS as part of the initiative following the generous contributions of six alumni. This commitment translates into a total contribution of AED 600,000 to the scholarship fund. The dedicated alumni who have made these contributions are Saeed AlDhaheri, Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, Osama Al Ashiq, Omar Afana, Alumni-owned business Musfair.com (Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani and Sachin Gadoya), and an alumna who wishes to remain anonymous.  

Issa Ataya, CEO of Alef Group, extended his gratitude and appreciation to Sheikha Bodour for her efforts in advancing the educational landscape through launching solidarity initiatives to support students' education in line with sustainable environmental practices.

He said: "Today, we at Alef Group we are honored to participate in this initiative organized by AUS, which aligns with our commitment to social responsibility and promotes the spirit of giving through participation and solidarity, especially that the proceeds will contribute to continuing the educational journey of students and ensure the future of tomorrow's generations.”

Ataya emphasized the symbolic significance of the initiative, which represents planting a palm tree in the courtyard of AUS, noting that it embodies human care for trees in its noblest form of national responsibility to increase green areas and perpetuate human manifestations rooted in cultural heritage sources.

The event also featured a pop-up marketplace with alumni-owned businesses, workshops and activities for the whole family, wellness and fitness sessions, a kids’ play zone, music and entertainment, and a walkathon “Walk for a Cause: Together in Advancement, Stronger in Solidarity.” Proceeds from the event will go to the AUS Alumni Advancement and Solidarity Fund.

“This inaugural AUS Giving Day exemplifies our collective commitment to making a difference. The AUS Alumni Advancement and Solidarity Fund and the Green Legacy initiative reflect our dedication in empowering talented students facing social challenges and we look forward to fostering a lasting impact on their academic journey and well-being. We eagerly anticipate the positive transformations that will unfold as a result of our community's generosity and solidarity,” said Dr. Tod Laursen, Chancellor of AUS.
February 12, 2024 / 12:37 PM

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