$100,000 Gift Funds Armenian Studies Lecture Series at UC Irvine

Vahe, center, and Armine Meghrouni, of Newport Beach, greet a friend Heidi Aharonian, a ceramics artist, at the 20-year anniversary of The Irvine Museum earlier this year

IRVINE, Calif—The Armenian studies lecture series at the University of California, Irvine, continued on February 21 with “Armenia, Armenians, and the New World History,” a lecture by Steven Rapp, professor of history at Sam Houston State University.  Rapp’s talk, the first under the newly-christened Vahe and Armine Meghrouni Lecture Series in Armenian Studies, was well-attended by more than 120 students, faculty and local community members.

Before Dr. Rapp’s lecture the audience was introduced to the new dean of the School of Humanities, Dr. Georges Van Den Abbeele.  The dean announced the naming of the lecture series and expressed his gratitude for Vahe and Armine Meghrouni and their tremendous support of Armenian Studies and the School of Humanities.

Dr. Vahe Meghrouni spoke briefly on the importance of providing a place where students can learn the history of Armenia and its people.  At the end of his remarks Meghrouni announced that he and his wife were giving another $100,000 to the Armenian Studies program.

The Meghrounis, long-time donors to Armenian Studies at UCI, generously donated $50,000 to start an endowment fund in support of Armenian culture, language and heritage in December 2011, and matched their initial gift with another $50,000 in 2012.
The Meghrouni Lecture Series is a quarterly series of public lectures on Armenian history, literature and other relevant topics. They offer opportunities for the local Armenian community, and the general public, to learn more. This past year the series included lectures by Dr. Richard Hovannisian on “The Changing Landscape of Historic Western Armenia: Reflections on a Journey into the Past,” Talinn Grigor on “Dolling-up Yerevan Avant-garde Urbanism in Post-Soviet American Politics,” Houri Berberian on “Connected Revolutions: Armenians and the Russian, Ottoman and Iranian Revolutions of the Early Twentieth Century,” and “The Armenian Genocide in Literature, Perceptions of those who Lived through the Years of Calamity” with Rubina Peroomian.

The next lecture in the series will be “Reflections on Early Modern Global Armenian Print, 1512-1800” by Sebouh Aslanian, the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, on Monday, April 1. On May 28, Giusto Traina, professor of Roman history at the Paris-Sorbonne University, will lecture on “Tigran the Great, King of Kings.” All lectures start at 6:30 p.m. in Humanities Gateway 1030. Complimentary parking passes can be picked up in Lot 7.

In addition to the lecture series, a course in Modern Armenian History is currently being taught by Dr. Richard Hovannisian, a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, celebrated Armenian historian and professor emeritus of Armenian and Near Eastern History at UCLA. Undergraduate courses in Armenian history continue spring quarter with Ancient Armenian History.

Established in 2007, thanks to the vision of Sylvie and Garo Tertzakian, Armenian Studies at UC Irvine has continued to thrive.  This past December, the Tertzakians hosted their annual fundraiser at and helped secure almost $18,000 in pledges from community members to support future course offerings.

The mission of the Armenian Studies program is to provide intellectual and social space for any student with an interest in these areas of history, but also to provide a cultural framework for students who may be interested in learning more about their own heritage or those of their neighbors.

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