Alumnus and parent Walid Wahab, MBA ’88, remembers exactly how he got involved with GW as a volunteer.
“A young man came to see me at the office. He charmed my private assistant over the phone and next thing I knew I had a meeting with him in my office,” he says, adding, “It shows the power of getting through the first person that answers the phone.”
The young recruiter’s savvy worked on Walid.
“Before I knew it, I was involved with the Luther Rice Society, then as an interviewer for local high schools, then onto joining the board of the School of Business. Soon thereafter I became a friend to our great president, Steven Knapp.”
After graduating from the University of Miami, Walid and a good friend, Dora Puig, MBA ‘88, were exploring MBA programs in New York and D.C. They both chose GW because of the School of Business programs that spoke to their interests. Walid received his degree in logistics, operations, and materials management, equipping him with the tools to build and grow WAHAB Construction, a LEED-certified general contractor and construction management firm for numerous commercial and residential projects in Miami.
“This education cleared the way for me to achieve my vision, one of exclusivity in my market,” he says. “Today, my close friend Dora is one of the top real estate brokers in Miami, and my firm, WAHAB Construction, enjoys being at the top of the field in high-end construction.”
As a volunteer, he and his wife, Susie, BBA ’89, who Walid met at GW, give back to the university by hosting events, interviewing prospective students, and lending advice and expertise by serving on boards.
He got involved because he saw how dedicated GW’s leadership and staff are about their mission to help students. “When I met President Knapp and his team and witnessed firsthand all the hard work and dedication to higher education and the school, one could not help but get motivated. I admired them and they inspired me to stay involved,” he says.
It was also his family who kept him busy with GW. His son, Nadim, BA ‘16, nephew, Shafic, BA ‘07, and niece, Dana, BA ‘14, all attended GW, keeping Walid connected with his alma mater and watching it evolve over the years. “We visited them often, and their healthy time in D.C. inspired me further to stay involved at a higher level and by dedicating more time to whatever the college needed in Miami,” he says.
Since he attended GW, a lot has changed, in particular the physical spaces that bring students together in creative ways. “The new facilities such as the Science and Engineering Hall are inspiring.”
Walid has been instrumental in mentoring students, hosting Summer Send-off events, and furthering GW’s vision of engaging alumni and raising money for student support. “At the current rate of growth in both educational quality and facilities, the future is bright. I would like to see a substantial increase in endowment to make this school more available to everyone.” —Amanda Charney
To get involved as a parent volunteer, please contact the Parents Campaign at PC1821@gwu.edu or 202-994-3229.
This article was originally published in the fall 2016 issue of Impact magazine.