Welcome Reception for Dr. Karin Markides

Welcome Reception Held in Southern California for AUA President Dr. Karin Markides

3 min read

GLENDALE, CA – On September 5, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) held a reception to introduce President Dr. Karin Markides to major donors and supporters from  Southern California. 

AUA Director of Development Gaiane Khachatryan made the opening remarks expressing her gratitude to all AUA donors: “Every type of support provided to AUA is greatly appreciated by all of us at AUA, and every size of a gift that comes in makes a difference as we continue to educate and train the next generation of leaders in Armenia. Your generous and steadfast support enables AUA to ensure a bright future for Armenia.” 

Chair of the AUA Board of Trustees Dr. Lawrence H. Pitts was next to welcome the guests. He officially introduced Dr. Markides to the community highlighting her major accomplishments and thanking her for taking on the new challenging role of leading AUA. 

“How do we make an institution like AUA more powerful than it is or more effective and more useful than it is? I believe that in the next growth phase by our President, AUA has huge steps to take. There are a lot of things working in favor of Armenia, the time is right for Armenia to move ahead and it’s really right for AUA to help Armenia move forward. That is the wish of the Board of Trustees and I believe that is the wish of everyone in this room. We want Armenia to succeed and we believe AUA can help in that effort. I believe Dr. Markides will lead us on the next round of progress toward that. I am delighted to welcome Dr. Markides,” noted Dr. Pitts. 

Taking the opportunity, Dr. Pitts also thanked AUA’s fourth President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, who was present at the reception, for his lifelong commitment to AUA.

Dr. Markides took the floor next. Thanking everyone for their presence, she shared her vision for AUA within the role of higher education and alignment of the University strategic priorities with the national strategy of Armenia. According to Dr. Markides, AUA will continue making a sustainable impact in the capital as well as the regions by nurturing trust and building clusters that connect them with academia. 

“We have a real possibility in Armenia, we have to build on the higher education values and momentum that we have at AUA. Also, we need to remember that for AUA to be successful, we need other universities in Armenia to be successful as well, we cannot be successful alone. If we believe that higher education has a role to play, we need to seek ways in which our best practices can be adopted by others. I am inspired by many things at AUA – the students, of course, all the others at the University, the faculty and staff, all the people I have met outside. I am also inspired by the interest of the Armenian government and its willingness to collaborate with us,” noted Dr. Markides.

The reception concluded with a speech by Zaven Akian, AUA Corporation trustee and chair of the Finance Committee, who highlighted the importance of the University’s UC affiliation. He thanked the founders of AUA for their vision and the donors for believing in and supporting the University. He once again welcomed Dr. Markides and wished her success as she starts her journey as the fifth President of AUA. 

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. For more information about AUA and its donor opportunities, please visit