A TIMELESS LEGACY
The legacy created by the Mouawad family was never intended just for themselves. One of the principles that has always guided their business is that the beauty of gems, the glorious precision of a fine timepiece, the uniqueness of a mesmerizing objet d’art, and even the warmth of an authentic relationship only have value when shared.
Accordingly, the Mouawad family engaged in several key projects that enabled the wider world to gain pleasure from and to share in the knowledge of the gems they had accrued and the timepieces they had crafted throughout the years. Three highlights of their endeavors were the naming of the Gemological Institute of America’s main campus, the staging of the diamonds exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Paris, and the establishment of the Robert Mouawad Private Museum in Beirut.
“Their instinct for business, taking advantage of opportunity and thinking big, is similar to that of their father — in a different way than he may have done, but similarly seeing the benefits.”
GIA Executive VP and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer
SOMETIMES THE STARS REALLY DO ALIGN — WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM PEOPLE OF VISION
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the world’s leading authority and educator on diamonds, pearls, and colored stones. In the mid-1990s, the GIA was reaching out to key figures in the industry, seeking funding to build a new campus on land they had purchased in the seaside community of Carlsbad, California.
Both Fred and Pascal Mouawad had completed degrees in gemology through the institution, so when GIA president Bill Boyajian spoke with them about the possibility of their family contributing to the campus project, they knew that the values and intentions of the GIA aligned with those of their family enterpris
We went to our father and said, ‘Congratulations! Now the best school in the world is named after you.”
PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE FAMILY LEGACY
As Fred, Alain, and Pascal discussed their involvement, the seed of an idea was born: what better way to acclaim their father, Robert, than to make a significant donation and surprise him by naming the entire campus in his honor? And indeed, after six months of negotiations, so they did.
Robert was very touched. This gift spoke directly to his commitment to learning and sharing the knowledge of gems in the broadest sense. It was a bold move by the brothers, but a visionary one, too.
“It was monumental; it was unique. You can imagine how rare it was to find someone that has the resources, but also has the integrity and history, and commitment to the industry.”
A CROWNING MOMENT IN THE MOUAWAD FAMILY’S CAREER
The new campus was opened in 1997, with its name, the Robert Mouawad Campus, proudly emblazoned across the gates of the gleaming new facility overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The leap of faith has paid off on both sides. The affiliation between the GIA and the Mouawad family has been one of mutual respect, affection, and support.
“Helping the educational sector is something that’s important to us, and having our father’s name on the GIA campus is also something that we’re very proud of,” Pascal Mouawad says.
“That’s a unique and historical claim that has become part of our heritage.”