A cornerstone of the Armenian community for many decades and steadfast supporter of the founding and success of the American University of Armenia (AUA), Elizabeth Agbabian was awarded the Movses Khorentatsi Medal by the Republic of Armenia’s president, Serzh Sargsyan. The Movses Khorenatsi Medal is the most prestigious award given by the state for the advancement of Armenian culture.
Her prolific volunteerism and community leadership is attested to by her role in the founding of the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles and the Armenian International Women’s Association, as well as her involvement in a variety of organizations, including: the Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Film Foundation, the Armenian Evangelical Social Service Center, the Armenian Assembly of America, and Development Services of Armenia. She is also one of the founding members of the Erebuni Hospital Nurses Training School.
From the earliest days in AUA history, Mrs. Agbabian provided invaluable assistance to her husband, Mihran, and the other founders of the university. She and Mihran remain spirited advocates of the University’s mission, working to ensure that AUA remains synonymous with high quality higher education in Armenia.
On this occasion, AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian commented: “Over the years, Elizabeth Agbabian has provided extraordinary service to the University by leading the organization of major fundraising events, promoting the University, and continuously supporting its advancement. Each day, when I walk through the large Agbabian Hall of our Main Building, past the newly installed Collaborative Study Space, it brings a smile to my face to see Mihran and Elizabeth’s picture prominently displayed. This recognition generates awareness for all who enter the Hall that the Agbabians continue to play a vital role in shaping the University’s history. On behalf of the entire AUA community, I warmly congratulate Elizabeth Agbabian for this highly deserved honor.”
In addition to the Khorenatsi Medal and in recognition of her significant contributions to her community and her nation, Mrs. Agbabian has received the Gold Medal of the Ministry of the Diaspora of Armenia, the Medal of Appreciation of the American University of Armenia, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, a proclamation of the Pontifical Blessings from His Holiness Karekin II, the Tribute Certificate of the Appreciation from the Board of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, and the Humanitarian Award of Ararat Home of Los Angeles.
Mrs. Agbabian was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Receiving a degree from the Beirut College for Women, she continued her education in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has since lived and worked in Los Angeles, frequently traveling for the myriads of philanthropic and charitable work in which she involves herself.