In Memoriam

Vol. XXII, No. 1, 2024

Mary A. Kilbourne Matossian (MA History ’52), PhD, passed away on July 9, 2023. A brilliant student, Mary earned both her BA (’51) and her PhD (’55) degrees at Stanford University. It was during her year at AUB as a Rotary Fellow that she met her future husband, Dr. Garo S. Matossian (MD ’49), who passed away in 2004. Mary was a professor of history at the University of Maryland for 31 years. Her groundbreaking 1962 study, The Impact of Soviet Policies in Armenia, stood virtually alone for two decades as the main Anglophone source on Soviet social reforms in Armenian life. Mary was also the author of Armenian Village Life before 1914 (with Susie Hoogasian Villa, Wayne State University Press, 1982); Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History (Yale University Press, 1989); and other scholarly works. She is survived by her children, Lou Ann, Michele, Viken (Mary), and Mark (Renée) Matossian, and nine grandchildren.

Farouk Saeed Muwakki (BA Economics ’58) passed away on June 1, 2023. He was the beloved husband of Nada Khouja Muwakki and the loving father of Rola, wife of Bilal Lopez; Riad, husband of Lena Horani; and Yasser, husband of Safia Smadi. Farouk, who earned a master’s and PhD (’66) in finance and economics at the University of Nebraska, spent many years as a professor of economics at Notre Dame University. He was chairman of the Business and Economics Department at St. Mary’s/ Notre Dame University from 1972 to 1975. Farouk also had a career in the private sector. He was an adviser at the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in Kuwait and special adviser to the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Kuwait. He also worked with EF Hutton in London. A dedicated father, loving husband, and charismatic professor, he will be deeply missed.

Salah Abu-Shakra (BS Agriculture ’57, MS Crop Production ’59), PhD, passed away on February 9, 2023, in Bakersfield, California. Dr. Abu-Shakra was a long-time member of the AUB faculty (1964–89). He published over 40 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and was a founding member of the Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1979, he was seconded to the AUB team in Saudi Arabia and appointed adjunct professor of agronomy and technical director of the RAWRC (Agriculture and Water Research Center, Riyadh). Dr. Abu-Shakra moved to Bakersfield, California, in 1986, where he served as general manager of Cal Farm Invest, a farm in the San Joaquin Valley that produces pistachios, wine grapes, and apples. He was awarded the FAFS Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. Dr. Abu-Shakra is survived by his wife, May, and his children, Ramzi, Makram, and Reema, and their families.

Victor Nassar (BA ’60, MD ’64) passed away on April 15, 2023. A founding member and past president of the Atlanta alumni chapter, Dr. Nassar was a pillar of the community. He was born in Nazareth, Palestine, and grew up in Haifa, then in Lebanon. After earning his MD degree at AUB, Dr. Nassar traveled to the US to pursue his training at Emory University (1963–66), Columbia University (1967–68), and Johns Hopkins University (1968–70), specializing in anatomic and clinical pathology. “He adored all three countries he called home— Palestine, Lebanon, and the United States— and gave generously to the places that sheltered him during his incredible life,” remembers his family. Dr. Nassar is mourned by his son Paul; his son Tim and daughter- in-law Carly and their children, Melanie Jane and Haytham Victor; his brothers, Constantine (Costa) and Theodore (Teddy); and many relatives and friends.

Saif Saleh Al Hinai (BBA ’77) passed away on May 28, 2023. He was a visionary who, with his brother Sheikh Said Saleh Al Hinai, guided Fahmy Furniture from its beginnings in 1973 as a small retail shop in Ruwi, on the outskirts of Muscat, Oman, to its role as a pioneer in the furniture business with suppliers from Latin America to China. Throughout his life, Sheikh Saif stayed in touch with his alma mater. “Sheikh Saif was one of our prominent alumni in Oman,” says Senior Vice President for Advancement and Business Development Imad B. Baalbaki. “He was a modest man who took great pride in the success of Fahmy Furniture. His determination to grow his company and his commitment to providing a high-quality product to his customers was inspiring. He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live on in the company that he founded and led until his tragic passing.”

Narine Bolghourjian (BE Civil and Environmental Engineering ’08, MBA ’18) passed away on June 7, 2023, at the age of 36 after a courageous battle with cancer. Narine majored in civil and environmental engineering and graduated with high distinction, receiving the CEE Distinguished Graduate Award. She obtained an MS in CEE from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009. Narine then worked at Samir Khairallah and Partners from 2010 to 2018, completed an MBA at AUB in 2018, and joined Roland Berger in Dubai as a consultant in 2019. A person of remarkable character, Narine had an unwavering positive attitude, indomitable fighting spirit, and a steadfast dedication to helping others. She is sorely missed by her parents, Salpy and Vatche; her sister, Tsoler; extended family members; and countless friends. Donations in her memory may be sent to AUB for the Narine Bolghourjian Endowed Memorial Fund, which will benefit undergraduate Armenian students.


Alain Zogheib (MPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics ’13) passed away on May 10, 2023. Alain, who earned a doctor of pharmacy degree at Lebanese University in 2004, was a former board member of the Lebanese Order of Pharmacists (2015–18) and the president of the Middle East Clinical Research Institute since February 2010. He worked for a number of companies during his career, including ClinServ International (2007–12), Abbott (2012–13), and AbbVie (2013–16). A treasured member of the FHS community, Alain’s passing is mourned by his wife, Zeina Abou Jaoude, and his children, Nay and Jude.


Dana Kambris (BA Economics ’16) left this world on June 12, 2023. She was a strong voice for the voiceless. Nothing stopped her—not even a diagnosis of brain cancer in early 2016. She did not miss a single day of school and continued to devote herself to AUB’s student newspaper, Outlook, serving as managing editor in 2015–16. She earned an MFE at Western University in Canada and worked in the fields of finance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research. Dana was a silent, but powerful and graceful, cancer fighter, an avid mentor, and a generous supporter of disadvantaged youth wherever she lived. She kept Lebanon and AUB close to her heart throughout her life. Dana’s memory lives on in the hearts of her parents, Yehia Kambris and Mona El Kouatly; her sisters, Reem and Rayyana Kambris; her extended family; her AUB Outlook family; and her colleagues, friends, and mentees across the globe.

Ibrahim B. Aziz passed away, in peace, on April 1, 2023, in Florida, surrounded by his family. Ibrahim, who was known by many as “Bob,” was born on January 1, 1931, in Jezzine, Lebanon. He began working at the Food Services Department on November 1, 1952, retiring as chief cook on September 30, 1995. Ibrahim was predeceased by his beloved wife, Evelyne. He is survived by his two daughters, Nada and Nawal, and his two grandsons, Samir and Camil. Although he loved to cook and was a passionate gardener, he most enjoyed being a father and grandfather. He will be sadly missed.

Margaret (“Dale”) Penrose Harrell, daughter of former AUB president, Dr. Stephen B. L. Penrose Jr., passed away on July 13, 2023. Dale lived in Beirut with her family between the ages of 11 and 18 when her father was president of AUB. Although President Penrose died in December 1954, the family stayed in Beirut until June 1955 so that Dale could complete her senior year at ACS. When Dale visited Beirut in fall 2019 for the rededication of Penrose Hall with her brother, Dr. Stephen Penrose, and her niece, Kate Penrose, her first visit to Beirut in more than 60 years, she said that being on the AUB campus again felt like “being home.” After graduating from ACS, Dale attended Whitman College, where she earned a BA in sociology. She later earned a master’s degree in sociology from Duke University. She and her late husband, Herbert Hathaway Harrell Sr., had two children, Kathy and Bud. Dale left a profound impact on her community in Chesapeake, Virginia, where she lived for more than 50 years as a school librarian, tireless volunteer, and member of the Great Bridge United Methodist Church.

Richard Ela Sawyer passed away on February 14, 2023. He spent two years at AUB (1957–59) as administrator of the American University Hospital (AUH), now known as the AUB Medical Center, and an assistant professor of public health. He joined AUB shortly after earning an MS in hospital management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (1956). Although he spent only two years at AUB, he told stories about his time in Beirut throughout his life. After leaving AUB, Richard spent seven years as the chief executive officer of Jefferson Frankford Hospital in northeast Philadelphia. During his 60-year career, he performed consultative work with a number of clients and hospitals in the US and around the world. He is survived by a large and extended family, including his first son, Charles, who was born at AUH in 1958.

Fawzi M. Yaqub died on April 24, 2023, at the age of 91 in Fredonia, New York. Born in Anabta, Palestine, on December 19, 1931, Fawzi received his BA in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1954 and his PhD from Indiana’s Purdue University in 1962. In 1953, he married Dorothy Seibert of Watsonville, California. The couple had five children and remained together until Dorothy’s death in 1974. From 1966 to 1986, Fawzi taught mathematics at AUB, attaining the rank of professor in 1982. In Beirut, Fawzi and his second wife, Penny Williams Yaqub, whom he married in 1978, witnessed the horrors of the Lebanese Civil War and the 1982 Israeli invasion. From 1987 until his retirement in 1998, Fawzi taught at the State University of New York at Fredonia.Throughout his time in Lebanon, Fawzi embraced AUB’s educational mission. He devoted himself to teaching and mentoring students, many of whom long remembered his warmth, humor, and keen sense of fairness. Even after leaving Lebanon, he remained in touch with former students and colleagues and continued to support AUB from afar. Fawzi is survived by Penny; by his children, Rihab, Adnan, Nadia, Samia, and Salim; and by his brother, Faruq and his sister, Hanan.

Suad Salem Ziadeh passed away on November 26, 2022. Her late husband, Professor Farhat J. Ziadeh (BA ’37), and her daughter, IAC member and ambassador Susan L. Ziadeh (MA ’78), were both AUB alumni. Suad was born in Ramallah, Palestine, in 1930 and graduated from the Ramallah Friends (Quaker) Girls School in 1948 before moving to the US with her family. She and Farhat, who passed away in 2016, were married for over 67 years. Suad cared deeply for her family, friends, and neighbors and welcomed people into her home with grace and warmth. A leader in the Seattle Arab-American community, Suad was a champion for Palestinians and Palestinian causes throughout her life. She is survived by her daughters, Shireen (Albert) Abed, Susan Ziadeh, Rhonda (George) Salem, Deena (Bilal) Ayyub, and Reema Ziadeh; 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Her Legacy: Nada T. Kobeissi

The late Professor Nada T. Kobeissi and her husband, Professor Iftekhar Hasan, shared many passions, including trust in AUB and a strong belief in the transformative impact that education can have on an individual and society. Nada and Iftekhar established the Women in Design Scholarship in 2017, which benefits women students pursuing degrees in graphic design and supported the AUB4Women campaign. After Nada’s passing on September 18, 2020, Iftekhar established the Dr. Nada T. Kobeissi Endowed Scholarship to honor her memory. He and Nada’s friends and colleagues at Long Island University, where she was a professor for over 18 years, also established the Dr. Nada T. Kobeissi Endowed Excellence Award in Management. Dr. Iftekhar explains, “Nada’s colleagues and I are delighted to join forces with AUB in this modest way. It is profoundly satisfying to observe this significant institution’s commitment to having a lasting global impact by educating and enlightening the young minds of Lebanon and beyond.” Senior Vice President Imad B. Baalbaki comments, “We are deeply touched and honored by the compassion and generosity of Dr. Iftekhar and Dr. Nada’s many family and friends who chose to honor Nada’s memory at AUB.”