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Hanine and George Hajnasr, '08: A Culture of Achievement
December 4, 2008
Lebanon natives and siblings George and Hanine Hajnasr will receive a degree in business and a Master's in Business Adminsistration, respectively, at UAlbany's Winter Commencement. (Photo Mark Schmidt)
At one time 5,500 miles separated siblings George and Hanine Hajnasr. But when the younger George left their native Lebanon to join his sister at UAlbany, all that separated them was a matter of degrees. What united them was their desire to see their family.
The brother and sister will proudly carry the flag of Lebanon during UAlbany's Winter Commencement ceremony on Dec. 7, and will keep a special eye out for their father, who recently rejoined his family to witness his children's graduation. George will receive his bachelor's degree in business, while Hanine will walk across the stage to accept her Master's in Business Administration.
Their family will see more graduations. George has already applied to the School's MBA program, while Hanine has set her sights on a doctorate.
The two represent the blending of cultures that anchors the diverse learning environment at UAlbany. Born in Texas, their family returned to Lebanon when they were young. At age 18, Hanine, focused on education, came to Albany to stay with relatives.
After a short stint at a community college, she found herself impressed by, and enrolled in, the University's School of Business. Three years later and on her recommendation, her younger brother joined her at the School.
Both are hoping to use their education to bridge the gaps that separate countries. George has focused his studies on finance and information technology, hoping to pursue a career in homeland security. "Down the road I hope to use my education and knowledge to contribute to my country of origin as well as the U.S."
Hanine, on the other hand, is following a route toward higher education that would involve traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Lebanon, involved, she says, in international education.
But her biggest dream right now centers on her father. "There is no greater gift for him," she says, "than to see us graduate right now, and for us to have him here."
The University at Albany's Winter Commencement is scheduled for 1 p.m. on December 7 in the SEFCU Arena. More than 440 graduate and 535 undergraduate students will receive degrees at the ceremony, which will feature keynote speaker Frances Allen, '54, IBM Fellow Emeritus and first woman recipient of the Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize in computing.
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