Saint Joseph University (USJ) honored BBAC’s Chairman and General Manager Sheikh Ghassan Assaf in recognition of his efforts and achievements in the banking sector, in the presence of a score of ministers, MPs and ambassadors, as well as deans of colleges and educational bodies at the university. Attendees also included a number of economic and social dignitaries, along with Sheikh Assaf’s family at the honorary ceremony held at Phoenicia Hotel.
The ceremony opening included a word by the president of the university, Professor Salim Daccache, who stated that the annual award is granted to one distinguished character that is characterized by excellence that goes beyond profession and extends to positive contribution in various aspects of social and cultural development.
Professor Daccache highlighted that this honor is one of the few occasions in which the university praises an individual from the Lebanese community for their efforts and commitment to the principles and values. Professor Daccache praised the achievements of Sheikh Ghassan Assaf, and spoke about his triumphs and fingerprints as a businessman and a banker, that enriched the Lebanese economy. He as well underlined the multiple aspects of Sheikh Assaf’s social, humanitarian and cultural contributions that complement the scene; the reasons he was chosen by the university as the honored figure for the year 2016.
In his delivered word, Sheikh Assaf acknowledged USJ’s initiative, and stressed his appreciation for the award and the honorary ceremony, as it is coming from a renowned institution in Lebanon and the Middle East in terms of tradition, knowledge, development and thought leadership. He stressed that the history of the university is signified through the key Lebanese politicians, researchers, scientists and businessmen who gleaned knowledge from one of the most significant educational institutes in Lebanon.
He added: “USJ gathered all the Lebanese of all religious and political backgrounds, it is no coincidence that this campus, is the main foster of national movements that led to the independence of Lebanon … there is no doubt that St. Joseph’s University has been, and remains the launching base of many personalities that left their mark in the history of Lebanon ….”. He then thanked the university president: “I thank USJ for everything it offered to Lebanon and the Lebanese community, actually, you are the ones that deserve to be honored.”
Addressing his career in the banking sector, Sheikh Assaf said: “At BBAC, we have always remembered that the secret of success and sustainable growth is not due to balance sheet growth and increasing profits only, but in the acts of care in the society and seeking to improve people’s economic situation and protect them from risks and bumps.”
Sheikh Assaf allocated a part of his speech to his family, referring to its impact on his life, particularly his late father, Sheikh Toufic Assaf, who in turn had an impact on Lebanese society through the many roles he has played as an industrial, a banker and a politician. He added: “The environment I grew up in, made me believe that the institution’s contribution to the community development affairs is our duty, and falls among our primary responsibilities, it is not surprising that the motto the bank adopted, and we always strive to achieve is that BBAC is ” Your Caring Bank”.”
Finally, Professor Salim Daccache handed out the university’s honorary shield to Sheikh Ghassan Assaf.