Posted by: Francesca Di Meglio on July 13, 2009
Just a couple weeks after Saad Hariri was named the new prime minister of Lebanon, Georgetown University announced that he made a $20 million donation to name the new building for its McDonough School of Business (McDonough School Profile) in memory of his late father Rafik B. Hariri, a two-time prime minister of Lebanon. A 1992 alumnus of McDonough, Saad made the gift because his father was a self-made billionaire, who made his fortune in construction, and philanthropist who made education possible for tens of thousands of Lebanese people.
The donation will cover the final costs of the school, which is scheduled to open in September 2009. With seminar, lecture, and conference rooms, a 400-seat auditorium, eight case rooms, and common areas for undergraduate and graduate students, the 179,000-square-foot facility is in the center of campus, according to a university press release. It will be the home base for 1,400 undergraduate, 1,000 MBA, and 500 executive education students at Georgetown. The donation also will support two endowed scholarships, one each for an undergraduate and a graduate student, according to an e-mail from Georgetown spokesperson Katie Martha.
"This gift will make a tremendous difference in our ongoing efforts to enhance Georgetown’s global business education programs," says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, according to the Martha e-mail. "I am deeply grateful to the Hariri family for their generosity in supporting two of our most important priorities -- building and maintaining first-class facilities and providing financial aid for students to study at Georgetown."
Assassinated in February 2005, Rafik was prime minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2004, according to a Georgetown press release. Saad, his second son, is a 39-year-old Sunni Muslim and the leader of an American-backed political coalition in Lebanon. He was appointed prime minister of the country on June 27, 2009. According to the Los Angeles Times, he has the support not only of Washington, but also Egypt and Saudi Arabia, all of whom want to quiet the influence of Lebanon’s militant Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah.