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AUA Office of Alumni Relations: Year in Review

3 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — The year of 2023 was full of new connections, reunions, benefit events, and fundraising organized by the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) on behalf of the American University of Armenia (AUA) alumni. OAR launched events in new formats while maintaining some of the cherished long-standing traditions. More and more alumni reconnected with their alma mater and developed new relationships.

At the beginning of the year, OAR organized the traditional alumni ‘khash’ party, one of the favorite events of AUA alumni. Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, one of the AUA founders and interim president of the University at the time, also attended the gathering.

In April, OAR launched the new Wine & Talk series of networking events. Based on the findings from a survey of alumni conducted in early 2023 by the OAR, most respondents have indicated a preference for informal experience-sharing gatherings. Hence, this series was launched in response to that preferred format where attendees have the opportunity to learn from one another and from invited guests. The first guest speaker of the series was Dr. Martin Galstyan, governor of the Central Bank of Armenia and adjunct lecturer at AUA’s Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics. Henri Arslanian, co-founder and managing partner of Nine Blocks Capital Management, a leading crypto-specialized hedge fund based in Dubai, was the second distinguished guest speaker in June. The third Wine & Talk event hosted entrepreneur and benefactor Artak Tovmasyan, chairman of the board at Seven Visions Resort & Places, The Dvin, and founder and chairman of the board of trustees of “Tovmasyan Charity Foundation.” 

In June, the OAR organized a special alumni networking dinner with members of the AUA Board of Trustees (BOT) and the University leadership, restoring a cherished tradition. The dinner was a special occasion and a great chance for alumni to meet fellow graduates and BOT members, share insights into AUA’s role in education and the University’s future, and reminisce about their time at AUA. The BOT members, who could not travel to Armenia over the past three years, were delighted to meet alumni from different years and programs and learn firsthand about their achievements.

In Fall, OAR relaunched its much-anticipated Student-Alumni Mentorship program for the 2023-24 academic year. The purpose of the program is to facilitate meaningful mentorships between experienced alumni and current students to grow the community and expand networking opportunities. This marks the third recurrence of the initiative that dates back to 2021. The interest among AUA alumni around the world to volunteer for the program was impressive. As a result of a careful and meticulous matching process, 48 mentors and mentees were selected from a large pool of applicants. 

During the December holidays, AUA alumni from different generations gathered at Dargett Brewpub for a networking and fundraising event. This was a first-of-its-kind event organized by the OAR and was a great success in reuniting many AUA alumni and raising funds for the Alumni Endowment Scholarship Fund. Many attending graduates commended OAR for this new format of alumni events, and seized the occasion to give back to their alma mater while socializing and networking with fellow alumni.

Throughout the year, OAR organized five Alumni Book Club meetings, where the participants discussed and shared their takeaways from the books they’ve read. A wide range of book genres were selected by the participants generating interest-based discussions every two months. 

OAR will continue to provide opportunities for alumni to maintain and strengthen their connection with their alma mater, network and participate in informative events, and give back to the community in meaningful ways. 

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 and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.