Agreement Signed Between AUA and Aurora Humanitarian Initiative to Establish $1M Scholarship Fund

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Yerevan, Armenia – On March 21, the American University of Armenia (AUA), the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, as well as Scholae Mundi Armenia signed an agreement to create a $1 million scholarship fund for students from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

The scholarship fund has been established as part of the Aurora Gratitude Projects and will cover, partially or fully, depending on the level of need, the tuition, housing, and travel of admitted students from these countries. Continuing students will receive the scholarship as long as they remain in good academic standing.

“The American University of Armenia has been at the forefront of advancing higher education in Armenia, as well as creating an inclusive environment that welcomes students from around the world. The establishment of this scholarship fund by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and Scholae Mundi Armenia is a testament to our work and our principles,” said AUA President, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian.

Co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, Ruben Vardanyan, along with his wife and co-founder of Scholae Mundi Armenia, Veronika Zonabend, noted Armenia’s potential to become a global education hub. They cited the exceptional opportunity to allow youth from these countries, often affected in some way by instability in the region, to receive a quality education in Armenia while enriching the AUA community. Zonabend added that the fund, “also expresses gratitude to the nations who were the first to open their doors to survivors of the Armenian Genocide.”

“The American University of Armenia is extremely grateful to the creators of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, specifically Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend, who through their immense generosity have created an opportunity not only for students from the countries that hosted Armenian refugees from the Genocide to study in Armenia but also afforded AUA an opportunity to serve these students. Their presence on our campus will provide enhanced diversity and enrich the lives of all students. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and, through our educational programs, be able to express gratitude to the descendants of the people who sheltered Armenians during the most tragic part of their history,” said Dr. Der Kiureghian.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and Scholae Mundi Armenia have committed to granting the scholarship through 2023.

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.