Satenik Avakian, Christine Simone, Karin Markides
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Louise Manoogian Simone’s Legacy Will Live on Through her Books at AUA

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia – On November 14, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) was honored to host the opening ceremony of Louise Manoogian Simone’s book collection corner donated to the AGBU Papazian Library by her daughter, Christine Simone. The book collection adds yet another dimension to the monumental investment Manoogian Simone has made to AUA. The collection reflects her interest in art, design, politics, and history, as well as her deep love for Armenia and Armenians around the world. 

“On behalf of the AUA AGBU Papazian Library, students, faculty, staff, and the larger community, I wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Christine Simone for the donation of Louise Manoogian Simone’s personal collection of 342 books and other materials to our library, enriching our collections and our capacity. Our efforts would not be possible without the support of benefactors like you and Louise Manoogian Simone who not only believed in the mission of AUA but also helped us achieve it,” said AUA President Dr. Karin Markides in her opening remarks.

Louise Manoogian Simone was an accomplished visionary, leader, and philanthropist. She was the sixth president of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the co-founder of the American University of Armenia (AUA). Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1933, to Alex and Marie Manoogian, she was raised in a family of distinguished philanthropists who held an indelible love for Armenia and a passion for the perpetuation of Armenian education, culture, and heritage.

The most prominent among her multifaceted educational initiatives was the momentous role she played in the founding of AUA, making the historic decision to provide seed funding and continually supporting the University throughout her life, financially and as a Board Member. Louise Manoogian Simone played an instrumental role in engaging the University of California (UC) in the establishment of AUA, leading to the affiliation between the two universities that continues to serve as a tremendous asset for AUA. In recognition of her enormous contributions to the University, the College of Business and Economics was officially named Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics in 2016. 

Throughout her life, Louise Manoogian Simone initiated several other flagship programs and received many honors, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the Grigor Lusavorich Medal from His Holiness Vazken I; the Knight of Holy Etchmiadzin Pontifical Medal from His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and the Medal of Mesrop Mashtots by State Order issued by the President of Armenia.

“My mother had an unbelievable collection. She had over five thousand books and she read every day of her life. She loved to learn. It was so hard to go through the collection, trying to find the right places for everything. I was so happy to bring part of her rich collection of books here because this way I could come and see them in the hands of students. She would also be happy to see these books at AUA,” remarked Louise Manoogian Simone’s daughter, Christine Simone.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.