POTOMAC, Maryland – On October 16, a core group of Washington DC area American University of Armenia (AUA) graduates launched the first AUA Alumni Club in the United States. This was a dream come true for not just the alumni themselves, but also for Mr. and Ms. David and Leda Zenian who graciously opened the doors of their home in Potomac to host the gathering. They were eager to cheer on the participants to move ahead now that they had taken the first and most challenging step.
The evening, complete with a celebratory cake, also gave the group not only a chance to share old stories and memories of their years at the AUA in Yerevan, but also how the education they got there shaped their lives by giving them the opportunity to think broadly. “Our entire thought process changed after our years at the AUA…It was goodbye to the old single-lane country road and welcome to the four-lane highways of the world,” one alumni said, in effect summing up his and his fellow AUA graduates’ collective experience at the university.
With a mindset typical of hardworking young professionals, it was no surprise to see the alumni exchanging notes and ideas on how best to help not only their university, but also American-Armenian university students from across the United States who may wish to enroll in AUA’s Study Abroad program in Yerevan.
“We are ready to join hands with the AUA administration to help make this happen. We have thousands of undergraduate Armenian students in US universities. Why should these young people go spend a semester in Greece, Argentina, or Israel, when, if given the opportunity, they can spend that semester in Yerevan? We need to get this program on track. This should be a priority for both AUA alumni and administration, especially now that the AUA undergraduate school is up and running,” the alumni agreed.
“We have been thinking of opening the DC Alumni Chapter, as we were getting more and more members residing in the DC area. I am glad that finally we were able to launch this initiative to bring old friends together to share memories and think how we can give back to AUA. I would like to see this movement going viral through other US states, since we have many more alumni residing in different parts of the US. The AUA DC alumni chapter is the first step to creating a larger AUA alumni presence in the US,” Anna Hakobyan, who graduated from AUA’s Political Science and International Affairs program in 1999, said.
From left to right, Armen Hovhannisyan (MBA 2003), Lana Yeganova, Anna Hakobyan (PSIA 1999), David Zenian, Anna Seferian (MBA 1999), Leda Zenian, and Avedis Seferian (MBA 1999)