On April 1, the San Francisco chapter of the Armenian Cultural Foundation held its annual fundraising event at the Green Hills Country Club in Millbrae, California with over 150 people in attendance.
The event was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Fr. Paruyr Shernezyan, Chair of the AUA Board of Trustees Dr. Lawrence Pitts, and AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian. The evening’s keynote speaker was Mr. Anto Baghdassarian, former chairman of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. The event raised approximately $60,000 to be allocated for use in a variety of projects, including in Armenia.
During the event, Dr. Der Kiureghian was honored by ACF for his many years of service to the community. His role as a community leader began in 1978 when Dr. Der Kiureghian moved to the Bay Area and became a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, he has held many leadership positions in the local Armenian community, including as Chair of the Board of the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan School, Chair of the Armenian Commemorative Committee, and Chair of the Advisory Committee for Armenian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014, he brought his experience and expertise to Armenia as he assumed the role of AUA President, a university he helped found in 1991.
In his remarks, he noted, “AUA was established 25 years ago, during an extremely difficult time in the history of Armenia. The country was still coping with the effects of a devastating earthquake, the Artsakh liberation war was ongoing, and the country was in severe shortage of energy and other essential commodities. Starting a new university under these conditions seemed unwise, but it is during times of adversity that unique opportunities arise. The government of Armenia, AGBU and the University of California joined and became the founding organizations of the University. We started with 101 students in three master’s degree programs. Today, we have more than 1,800 students in eight master’s degree programs and three bachelor’s degree programs. Our more than 3,000 alumni make significant contributions in advancing Armenia.”
In conclusion, Dr. Der Kiureghian said, “I’m very happy and grateful for this opportunity to serve and have my contribution in advancing education in Armenia. I strongly encourage everyone here to visit AUA when they visit Armenia. I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.”