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Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of AUA Founding President Dr. Mihran Agbabian
Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of AUA Founding President Dr. Mihran Agbabian
20 Ապրիլ 2019 , 11:18

On April 17, at the Alex Manoogian Hall of the American University of Armenia, a memorial service was organized for AUA co-founder and first President, Dr. Mihran Agbabian.

Dr. Agbabian was a Vice-President and a life-long supporter of the Armenian Missionary Association of America. 

Distinguished colleagues and former AUA students of Dr. Agbabian took to the podium. Nostalgically they recalled the professional, human qualities and accomplishments of the man of the hour.

The graduates of the American University of Armenia continue having far-reaching contribution to the development of this young nation.


 

The event opened with a short video about Mihran Agbabian's life and activities. After the welcoming remarks of AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian; the Director of the Department of External Relations and Protocol of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan conveyed the blessings of His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and prayed.

Presidential Assistant Gevorg Melikyan read out a message of condolence from President Armen Sarkissian. AGBU Armenia Executive Director Talar Kazanjian read the message of AGBU President Dr. Berge Setrakian.

President of the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Armenia Dr. Gagik Harutyunyan also delivered a speech, as well as Academician Radik Martirosyan, President of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Director of "Robotics" Research Laboratory, Dr. Yuri Sargsyan, AUA Professor Michael Kouchakdjian and AUA Assistant Vice President, AUA alumna (MBA '93) Anahit Ordyan shared their precious memories about years of working along with Mihran Agbabian.

Here we present the reflections of Harout Nercessian, AMAA Armenia Representative, on the life and legacy of Dr. Agbabian.

 “ I am honored and humbled, on behalf of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Agbabian.

Today, we are gathered to honor and be inspired by the memory of a man of character who has educated, instructed and mentored thousands in the United States and Armenia. A servant of God and humanity whose loving kindness has touched the souls of those with whom he interacted. A hero whose overwhelming passion, philanthropic vision and sacrificial efforts have provided Armenia with thousands of bright, educated and energetic young men and women who are contributing to Armenia’s effort to become the democratic and prosperous country that Armenians around the globe envision.

The posthumous outpouring of admiration and respect for Dr. Agbabian only testify of the above.

Dr. Agbabian was a former AMAA Vice-President, Board member and a life-long supporter of the organization that was dear to his heart.

The following words, penned by Zaven Khanjian AMAA Executive Director/CEO, best capture the essence of the man whose memory we are gathered to honor. "Dr. Mihran Agbabian’s Christian upbringing at home and at the Emmanuel Armenian Evangelical Church of Aleppo, where his father, Rev. Siragan Agbabian served, have forged the character of a man who despite climbing the highest ladders of success, demonstrated down-to-earth humility and modesty. Dr. Agbabian, the scientist, educator, philanthropist, community leader, entrepreneur, devoted his life to the advancement and development of fellow human beings. His humanitarian contributions both at Home and the Homeland will brightly echo in the lives of the multitude for generations to come. As we mourn his passing on Earth, I can imagine the joy in heaven, as the Lord welcomes His son who ‘fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.’”

In his book the Road to Character, David Brooks analyzes the life and impact of Francis Perkins. Referring to the method she used in finding purpose in life. Brooks writes “In this method, you don’t ask, what do I want from life? You ask a different set of questions: What does life want from me? What are my circumstances calling me to do? In this scheme of things we don’t create our lives; we are summoned by life.” 

Dr. Agbabian did not create his own life. He simply responded to the challenges facing America and Armenia, in fulfilment of God’s call to live a life of selfless service.

Dr. Agbabian’s life and legacy speak loud and clear. They set an example for each one of us to emulate. They challenge each of us Armenians to adhere to the values of our Christian heritage and compel us to devote ourselves to the task of passing on to our children a country better than the one we are living in.”

Let's just add that at the end of the ceremony the guests had an opportunity to get acquainted with the remarkable museum samples of Mihran Agbabian's activity at AUA Agbabian Hall, after which the conversation continued in an informal format, at the fourchette table.


Suren Sahakyan
AMAA Armenia Public Relations Coordinator


Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of AUA Founding President Dr. Mihran Agbabian

 

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One of the world's oldest civilizations, Armenia once included Mount Ararat, which biblical tradition identifies as the mountain that Noah's ark rested on after the flood. It was the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity as its religion (c. A.D. 300).In the 6th century B.C. , Armenians settled in the kingdom of Urartu (the Assyrian name for Ararat), which was in decline. Under Tigrane the Great (fl. 95–55 B.C. ) the Armenian empire reached its height and became one of the most powerful in Asia, stretching from the Caspian to the Mediterranean seas. Throughout most of its long history, however, Armenia has been invaded by a succession of empires. Under constant threat of domination by foreign forces, Armenians became both cosmopolitan as well as fierce protectors of their culture and tradition. Over the centuries Armenia was conquered by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and Russians. From the 16th century through World War I, major portions of Armenia were controlled by their most brutal invader, the Ottoman Turks, under whom the Armenians experienced discrimination, religious persecution, heavy taxation, and armed attacks. In response to Armenian nationalist stirrings, the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in 1894 and 1896. The most horrific massacre took place in April 1915 during World War I, when the Turks ordered the deportation of the Armenian population to the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia. According to the majority of historians, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered or died of starvation. The Armenian massacre is considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that a genocide took place and claims that a much smaller number died in a civil war.read more: Armenia: Maps, History, yerevanvideo.com Geography, Government, Culture