With Rafik Hariri’s youngest son Fahad and an overflowing auditorium of guests looking on, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia officially dedicated the Rafik B. Hariri Building, the new home of the McDonough School of Business, on September 16, 2009. Prior to the ceremony, the audience viewed a short film about Rafik Hariri in which Dr. DeGioia stated that Georgetown University was profoundly honored to have the name of Rafik B. Hariri forever associated with Georgetown and was deeply grateful for the capstone gift from Saad R. Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon and Georgetown alumnus. In making the naming gift of $20 million, Saad Hariri sought to honor his father’s support for education and to establish a lasting memorial to him.
In his remarks during the dedication program, Fahad Hariri stated that “For Rafik Hariri, education was the key to Lebanon’s future as a prosperous and independent nation united by a sense of shared history and destiny.” “He believed that education would help unlock the talents and abilities of his countrymen, and this outpouring of positive energy would help to repair the damages which years of war and violence inflicted upon his beloved Lebanon. Rafik Hariri’s belief in education was an act of faith in all that is good and constructive in mankind, and his support of education through the programs of the Hariri Foundation was the greatest expression of his hope for the future.”
In addition to his naming gift, Saad Hariri also endowed two new scholarship funds at the McDonough School of Business: the Hariri Family Graduate Scholarship and the Saad R. Hariri Undergraduate Scholarship. Georgetown will select the scholarship recipients according to its policies and procedures for awarding scholarships. A major project of the university for more than ten years, the building became a reality thanks to the enthusiastic support of devoted alumni and friends of the university, as well as a number of major foundations and corporations. Dr. DeGioia noted that it was “the first major building on campus to be funded fully through the philanthropic support of our community.”
Dr. George Daly, Dean of the McDonough School of Business, spoke of the international orientation of the business school and how appropriate it was to have the facility bear the name of one of the foremost businessmen of the Middle East and the global economy. Dean Daly also heralded the building for its state of the art facilities which he believes will allow the school to achieve its full potential as a premier national and international school of business. For the first time in the history of the McDonough School of Business, all of its components are housed under one roof. Thus united, the school of business can now assume a presence on the Georgetown campus that more truly reflects the prominent role it plays in the life of the university.
Some basic facts about the Rafik B. Hariri Building give a clearer sense of its potential: 179,000 square feet, with five stories and a two-level parking garage, 15 classrooms, 15 conference rooms, 34 breakout rooms, 11 interview rooms, a 400 seat auditorium, 120 faculty offices, and two student common areas. Up-to-date technology features such as data ports, Bloomberg terminals for monitoring and analyzing financial markets in real time, flat-screen monitors, and video-conferencing capabilities offer state-of-the-art resources to students and faculty. The striking architectural design and finishing materials used throughout the building make it a stunning visual and spatial experience. During the day abundant natural light pours through the glass ceiling of the five-story atrium at the heart of the building which is dominated by the conical outer wall of the complex housing the Executive Business Program.
In the mind of Dean Daly the Rafik B. Hariri Building is both a home and a symbol: “It gives us a sense of place. It has tremendous functional capabilities, and, above all, it is a symbol of how a school and its supporters working together, believing in a dream, can make that dream a reality.”