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Samuel & Hasmig Salibian: Supporting a New Era of AUA Advancement

2 min read

Samuel and Hasmig Salibian are partnering with the American University of Armenia (AUA) through the Build a Better Future with AUA capital campaign a campaign aimed to strengthen science, technology, and engineering education at the University, thereby advancing Armenia towards a new, technologically advanced position globally. 

Samuel Salibian was born in Hamidie refugee camp in Aleppo, Syria to Genocide survivors from Marash, Cilicia. He attended Bethel School and later graduated from Aleppo College in 1954. Though he wanted to continue his education in Beirut, financial hindrances held him back. In 1957, he received news that Armenia, then a part of the USSR, was accepting foreign students of Armenian descent for entry into higher education institutions in Yerevan. Possessing all the prerequisite requirements to apply, he was accepted to the National Polytechnic Institute of Armenia and graduated in 1965 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. 

With better job opportunities waiting for him in Beirut, Salibian left Armenia and found employment with an electro-mechanical consulting company, a successful role that allowed him to travel frequently to the Persian Gulf states, mainly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In 1976, during the Lebanese Civil War, Salibian moved to Doha, Qatar, where he was appointed Head of Electrical Mechanical Department at a contracting company. 

He then emigrated to the United States in 1984, where he started rebuilding his career making a switch over to real estate sales. Equipped with a strong educational background and work experience in engineering, he quickly found success in real estate development and investment. 

Salibian remembers first learning about AUA from Dr. Mihran Agbabian. “I was sure then that introducing Western style education in Armenia would be of utmost importance. Now, we are witnessing how highly trained AUA graduates are involved in many industries and contributing to development in both the public and private sectors,” Salibian says. 

Recently, after receiving the promotional materials from the AUA Office of Development announcing the construction of the new Science & Engineering building, he was inspired to support this important initiative, especially considering his academic background in engineering disciplines and the multiple specialties that would be embraced in the curriculums taught at the new facility. His enthusiasm for supporting students grew even stronger in recognition of his own blessing of receiving an engineering education without the financial burden of paying tuition. 

Looking forward, Samuel and Hasmig Salibian believe that equipping the emerging generation studying at AUA with a cutting-edge, high quality education will play a critical role in developing Armenia into a technologically advanced country in a short matter of time. 

To learn more about this important campaign and also lend your support to “Build a Better Future with AUA,” please visit

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.