Haigazian University Holds its 63rd Commencement Exercises Class of 2023 Proudly Bids Farewell to the Most Challenging Years of their Lives

Haigazian University Holds its 63rd Commencement Exercises Class of 2023 Proudly Bids Farewell to the Most Challenging Years of their Lives

Some 132 students from the various faculties of Business Administration & Economics, Humanities, Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences received their undergraduate and graduate degrees, on Friday the 9th of June 2023, thus bidding farewell to the four most challenging years of their lives. 

The courtyard of the First Armenian Evangelical Church, next to University campus, was full with a capacity audience of officials, family and friends gathered to applaud the graduating students, amidst an atmosphere of cheer, sometimes mixed with moments of high emotion.

This year Haigazian University was honored by the presence of the AMAA leadership, headed by its President Dr. Nazareth Darakjian and its CEO Mr. Zaven Khanjian, as well as members of its Board of Trustees, headed by its Chair, Dr. Hasmig Baran, who came from the USA to hold their annual meetings in Beirut. The audience also included political, diplomatic, religious and corporate representation.

The auspicious ceremony started with the formal processional march on the notes of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Edward Elgar, whereby faculty, led by Chief Marshall Dr. Najeoie Nasr proceeded in their traditional academic regalia of caps, gown and hoods, followed by graduates. After the Lebanese National Anthem, the prayer of invocation was offered by the Campus Minister, Rev. Wilbert Van Saane.

In his welcoming address, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian expressed his pride in the graduating class and acknowledged the unwavering efforts and dedication of the administrative and teaching body, the students and their parents during these last couple of challenging years the country was facing, asking the audience to give them a hearty applause.

In his talk, Haidostian mainly tackled the contraction between the timely notions of “unlimited access to knowledge” and “human limitation”, considering the “limitless access to so much is often highlighted and celebrated, whereas accepting our limitations is usually disregarded.”

For this, he shared a word of advice with the graduates, telling them “your limitations are not your end. They are your chance for a disciplined journey. They are your beginning. Awareness of limitations will give you the humility to be open for new learning. It will give you the right heart to turn inhibition into gratitude and growth.”

“Allow me to qualify you as Class of Heroes, because heroes are not only those who die on the battlefield; they are also ordinary individuals who find the strength to endure overwhelming challenges and emerge victorious,” said Dr. Hasmig Baran in her inspiring keynote speech, to the Class of 2023

Dr. Baran focused on three key perspectives, “Success”, “Attitude” and “Resilience” to respond to topic she raised: How do you move forward amidst overwhelming challenges?

Since “success” is a relative term in general, Dr. Baran asked the graduates to first “define success”. “The feeling of success comes only when you achieve what is most important to you. True success is a personal feeling, not a manifestation that others perceive,” Baran noted.

As “attitude” matters in how we deal with challenges, Baran considered that it’s almost impossible to find satisfaction in negative feelings and behaviors. “We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but one thing we do know is that we have the choice as to how to respond to life. Let’s embrace a positive attitude and say, “I can do it!   “It can be done! “I will do it”, Baran concluded.

On “resilience”, Baran considered that emotionally resilient people are keener to deal with crisis situations. “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more determined through resilience to go on to live a happy and fulfilling life,” Baran noted.

Dr. Baran concluded her speech by instilling a sense of pride on the graduates. “Consider yourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to be educated at this unique institution of higher learning that prepared you academically and spiritually … Be a candle and shine a light on those who tumble in darkness.  And make countless candles of them for a brighter world and future.” Baran said.

Next to speak was the President of BASCO International LLC (a strategic consulting and business advisory practice), current Board Member Mr. Serge Buchakjian, himself a 1976 graduate, who in the name of the University alumni congratulated the graduates, and proudly shared his formative years at Haigazian University.

“I received the foundational knowledge, skills and traits imparted by this exceptional institution that have informed my life: compassion, tolerance, gratitude, true friendship, cultural sensitivity, service to community are a few qualities that come to mind,” Buchakjian said. 

Buchakjian concluded his speech by giving a precious piece of advice to the youth saying, “be the best that you can be and make a difference, be patient and last but not least,never forget where you came from.”

With a sense of accomplishment, valedictorian Araz Pamboukian, being a recipient of the Future Armenian Leadership Fund (FALF) scholarship, expressed her gratitude to the University for this opportunity and unique experience. Applauding the work ethic, motivation and perseverance of her fellow graduates, Pamboukian said, “the fact that you are standing here today is a testament to your tenacity. In the face of such fluctuating and varied adversities, you adapted, you persevered, and you made it through.”  

For her part, valedictorian Jana Abdulrahim, gratefully acknowledged the determination and strong will of her fellow graduates in overcoming the economic and financial challenges of the country, as they embark on a new phase of their lives. In very touching words, Abdulrahim paid homage to late professor Dr. Samih Azar who passed away earlier this year, by dedicating her honor’s degree to his memory.

Finally, after singing the Alma Mater, and upon the benediction offered by Former Campus Minister, Rev. Nishan Bakalian, with waves of resounding cheers graduates threw their caps high into the air!


Mira Yardemian

Public Relations Director