Dear members of the AUB community,
It is a great pleasure to announce this year’s recipients of the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, the American University of Beirut’s (AUB's) highest honor. During the 154th commencement exercises on June 9, we will recognize four exceptional individuals who have demonstrated outstanding ingenuity, leadership, and service across an array of human endeavors.
Our honorands are shining examples of how knowledge can be harnessed to improve the human condition, even in the face of challenges and under less than ideal circumstances. They embody AUB's mission to serve the world with progressive ideas and bold actions, to promote equitable access to education and healthcare, and to contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future through basic discovery, innovation, service, and knowledge.
Dina Katabi is a world-renowned researcher in wireless networks, whose pioneering work has improved the speed, reliability, and security of data exchange in WiFi and cellular systems. She has also made significant contributions to wireless sensing in medicine, enabling non-invasive health monitoring and disease diagnosis. Katabi is the inaugural Thuan and Nicole Pham Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she serves as director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing and leads the Networks at MIT group.
Elias Khoury is a widely acclaimed novelist, play and script writer, journalist, activist, cultural critic, and public intellectual. One of the leading Arab writers of his generation, he is renowned for his advocacy of freedom of expression, democratic values, and the Palestinian cause. His novels, translated into many languages, have established him as a pioneer in the new style of Arabic fiction. He has taught in a number of distinguished universities in the Middle East, Europe, and the US and is the recipient of several international awards. He is currently editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.
Suheil Muasher (BS ’72, MD ’76) is a universally revered professor, clinician, researcher, and mentor. He is an internationally renowned fertility expert, having helped thousands of people overcome infertility and bring healthy babies into their family. He has collaborated on and conducted breakthrough research that led to improved IVF (in vitro fertilization) stimulation protocols. An award-winning trainer of residents and fellows in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Muasher is professor emeritus at Duke University and served as vice chairman for education as well as director of graduate learning and academic development in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
June Bowman Nasrallah (BS ’70) is a Lebanese-American award-winning molecular biologist and pioneer of plant reproductive biology who determined the molecular basis of self-incompatibility in plants. Using genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular analysis, her work has many practical implications in advancing crop improvement, while preserving biodiversity and sustaining the ecosystem. A philanthropist and devotee to serving the profession, she is a keen mentor and serves on the boards of numerous journals. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences and president of the Lebanese Academy of Sciences, June is currently Barbara McClintock Professor at the Plant Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University.
With great pride and joy, we welcome this year's honorands to join AUB's distinguished list of honorary doctoral degree recipients. These four inspirational leaders truly exemplify the ideals that we uphold in fostering, educating, motivating, and empowering new generations to actively participate in building a brighter future and a thriving global community.
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD