Edward Avedisian

AUA Trustee Edward Avedisian Receives Honorary Degree

KINGSTON, US – The American University of Armenia (AUA) is proud to share that AUA Trustee and longtime benefactor of the University Edward Avedisian was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by the University of Rhode Island (URI) at its 133rd Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies on May 19, 2019.

“We are privileged to present honorary doctorate degrees to these distinguished individuals, whose accomplishments exemplify our common values of integrity, honesty, compassion, creativity and civic-mindedness,” noted URI President David M. Dooley in the announcement released by the university in April. “Their achievements have made lasting contributions to our state, our nation, and the world.”

Avedisian is a descendent of Armenian Genocide survivors. He grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He pursued a music career as a clarinetist with the Boston Pops for 35 years and the Boston Ballet Orchestra for more than 40. He has performed both in the U.S. and Armenia and served for the Boston Opera Co., the Boston Lyric Opera, the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera. He also has soloed with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Armenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia.

Later in his professional career, Avedisian taught at Boston University in the 1970s as adjunct professor and also at Endicott College as lecturer. In 2008, he received the Boston University Distinguished Alumnus award from the university’s College of Fine Arts in recognition of his service as an educator and musician.

His philanthropic involvement includes a $5 million donation to the URI College of Pharmacy in memory of his brother, Paramaz Avedisian, and the establishment of the Paramaz Avedisian Pharmacy Scholarship at URI. He has fully funded AUA’s Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) and Paul Avedisian Center for Business Research and Development (CBRD). He was the principal benefactor of AUA’s 100,000 sq. ft. Paramaz Avedisian Building (PAB) which holds most of the AUA’s academic facilities including schools, colleges, and research centers and has added enormous value and space to the University.

Avedisian is the recipient of the inaugural AUA Presidential Commendation award, given to him “in recognition of extraordinary achievements and distinguished service in the advancement of education in Armenia.” He was twice awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal for “Contributions to Education, Culture, Literature and the Arts.” In 2016, he received the distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor and had the honor of delivering personal remarks at the ceremony.

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.

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