YEREVAN, Armenia – The American University of Armenia (AUA) is known for its enthusiastic and dedicated alumni network. A vast number of AUA alumni have gained unique distinction through success in their professions, support to the University, and service to their communities. Thus, AUA established the Distinguished Alumni Award to honor outstanding alumni and celebrate their achievements. The recipient of the first Distinguished Alumni Award 2016 was Hovhannes Avoyan, MPSIA ‘95. Such alumni serve as motivation for current students, encourage graduates to reconnect with their alma mater, and bring pride to the community.
On September 20, during one of the biggest alumni events of the year, the Alumni Reunion 2017, AUA was proud to announce the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award – Gagik Gyulbudaghyan.
Gyulbudaghyan has achieved extraordinary success in his career. He is one of the founders of KPMG Armenia and managing partner at Grant Thornton Armenia (GTA), a leader in the market, providing a full range of services in audit, advisory (valuations, transaction support, M&A, due diligence), and public sector advisory for large infrastructure projects (tax, outsourcing, legal, and IT). Gyulbudaghyan is a licensed valuator in Armenia and the founder of Grant Thornton Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.
Another professional achievement of Gyulbudaghyan is his engagement in diplomacy. He is an Honorary Consul of Denmark in Armenia, appointed by the Queen of the Kingdom of Denmark, Margaret II.
Gyulbudaghyan has made significant contributions to society and has remained engaged in the development of professional communities and business environments in Armenia. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia (AMCHAM), the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of France in Armenia.
Gyulbudaghyan has demonstrated his commitment through continuous volunteer service and participation in public service through annual donations to Orran Benevolent NGO and the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. He is also currently supporting four families of soldiers killed during the April War in Artsakh (with a commitment to continued support for the next 14 years) and organizes special Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) days for GTA during which staff participate in charitable activities, such as participating in fun events for children from underprivileged families and orphanages.
One of the biggest forms of support to Gyulbudaghyan’s alma mater is being one of the major employers of AUA alumni and students. Today, GTA provides many internship and job opportunities to AUA students and alumni. About 30 AUA graduates currently work at GTA.
Even with everything described above, Gyulbudaghyan also finds time for writing books and songs. He remarked, “I am a proud alumnus of AUA’s class of ’94, which played such an important role in our lives.” With this in mind, he wrote a song dedicated to AUA:
We are Together
Remember days in AUA
Those days will stay with us forever
Today we found our way
Spirit flows through life’s river.
We hoped, we knew the dawn will rise
And joy will pour like a sunshine
Saint Ararat will smile again
Recalling faces friends of mine.
We sing the song
At AUA again together
Sing Ode to Joy
This friendship will remain forever…
AUA treasures such successes and looks forward to many more who will join the ranks of Distinguished Alumni.
On October 10, AUA hosted a meeting between Gyulbudaghyan and current AUA students, during which he shared his personal success story, experience and ideas, and talked about inspirational leadership, change management, as well as advice for overcoming difficulties and following one’s dreams.
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.