Birzeit University Commemorates Leila Bordcosh

On March 27, 2014, Birzeit University held a ceremony in honor of Leila Qustandi Bordcosh, recognizing her outstanding generosity to her homeland and Birzeit University by naming one of the main halls in the Faculty of Arts building after her.

The ceremony was attended by the university community, represented by the Board of Trustees, the University Council, faculty and staff members, several high-ranking officials, and a number of Bordcosh’s family members, who came from the US to attend the ceremony.

Board of Trustees Chairman Hanna Nasir expressed his pride at honoring a Palestinian woman who spent most of her life away from Palestine, but loved it without limits, and embodied this love in her will by endowing a generous amount of money to support student scholarships at Birzeit University in Palestine.

"We are proud to be remembered by Palestinians wherever they are,” said Dr. Nasir, “even if they were never directly related to the university - that is, they were neither students nor teachers - but they were aware of the university’s philosophy and principles and felt that it is a symbol of their homeland as they wish it to be."

Vice President for Advancement Ghassan Khatib also spoke at the event, saying that Birzeit University is very proud of Palestinian giving, emphasizing the importance of investing in the new Palestinian generation, and meeting the current and future challenges facing Palestinian universities.

Leila’s sister, Rima Bordcosh, said that Leila always highly respected Birzeit University as a beacon of culture and education in Palestine, and believed that the road to the success of Palestinian youth begins with education and knowledge.

Biography of Leila Bordcosh

Leila Bordcosh was born June 9, 1940 in Palestine and died July 5, 2012 in New York City, New York. She and her family, like other Palestinian families, suffered the hardships of the 1948 Palestinian exodus to Lebanon.

Leila studied in Beirut schools and graduated from the Lebanese American University (formerly Beirut College for Women) in 1964. She worked in Beirut and Athens in the insurance field.

Leila moved to New York in 1987, where she continued to work in the same field and rose in the ranks of major global insurance companies, until her retirement in 2000. After that, she visited Palestine, where she helped draft the first Palestinian insurance law, and was appointed as Insurance commissioner in Palestine during 2001-2002.

Leila passed away in July 2012 with an impeccable reputation among her friends. Her well-known generosity and love for her homeland were evident in her will. She enjoyed a full career at Marsh, McLennan, & Sedgwick where she succeeded as an insurance executive. Leila always had a positive impact on those around her, particularly her sister, nephew, and nieces, who deeply miss her.