YEREVAN, Armenia – On June 11, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Zaven and Sonia Akian, and members of their family, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the College of Science and Engineering that is named in their honor.
AUA president, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian and Dean of the CSE, Aram Hajian, made remarks about the immense contributions of the Akian family to AUA that have not only helped strengthen and expand the College of Science and Engineering, but the couple has provided crucial support for constructing and furnishing the Akian Art Gallery at AUA, as well as other projects like the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC); the Akians are also one of the 100 Pillars of AUA. In speaking to the audience gathered Mr. Akian emphasized the great need for STEM education, in addition to the humanities. Among the heartfelt words of appreciation he expressed, Mr. Akian added that “AUA is the best and the foremost [institution] to prepare our children for the future.”
The Akians have also supported hundreds of students through scholarships. One such scholarship recipient, Anahit Hakobyan (TEFL ‘17), was so grateful for the support she received from the Akians that she named her daughter, to whom she gave birth during her studies, Sonia. Touched by the gesture, Mrs. Akian said, “We are happy to share what we have with students and be able to support those who truly appreciate it.”
The ribbon-cutting was followed by a reception at the Akian Gallery where the couple’s son, Haig, played a beautiful rendition of Arno Babajanian’s Elegy on the piano. During the reception, the Akians met with recipients of the scholarship they sponsor, as well as members of the AUA community who were present to express their gratitude for their family’s contributions to having an integral role in making the university what it is today.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.