UC Irvine Agrees Collaboration with American University of Armenia

Dean of the UC Irvine School of Humanities Georges Van Den Abbeele (right) and President of the American University of Armenia Armen Der Kiureghian sign an agreement in Los Angeles.


IRVINE, Calif.—In January, the University of California, Irvine, entered into an agreement to create faculty, student and research exchange between all schools on the UC Irvine campus and the American University of Armenia. Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia is a U.S.-accredited institution of higher learning affiliated with the University of California, providing a global education in Armenia. Led by the School of Humanities for the UC Irvine campus, this partnership adds incredible value and knowledge-share to the Humanities’ current Armenian Studies Program.

A signing event took place on January 15th on the UCLA campus where Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the UC Irvine School of Humanities, and Armen Der Kiureghian, PhD, president of the American University of Armenia, were both present to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.

“We are very pleased to have this agreement with UC Irvine, which aims at facilitating study abroad and faculty interactions between our two universities. AUA provides an ideal choice for study abroad for UC Irvine students, who are interested in Armenian studies or wish to study in their ancestral homeland for a summer, a semester or a year,” said Armen Der Kiureghian, PhD, president of the American University of Armenia. “We would also be very pleased to host UC Irvine faculty, who are interested in studying the history and culture of Armenia or would like to spend a sabbatical leave at AUA. We hope our students and faculty will be able to make reciprocal visits and benefit from the many rich programs available at UCI.”

“We are most pleased and proud to enter into this exciting new partnership with the American University of Armenia not only for the tremendous opportunities it provides for our own burgeoning program in Armenian studies here at UCI, but also for the wider exchange of scholars and students it will generate between all our fields of inquiry, both at Irvine and in Yerevan,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the UC Irvine School of Humanities.

The UC Irvine School of Humanities has a rich history of incorporating Armenian studies into its curriculum offerings. Established in December of 2007 under the leadership of history professor Touraj Daryaee and through the visionary efforts of Sylvie Tertzakian, Armenian Studies at UC Irvine includes undergraduate coursework in ancient and modern Armenian history. With financial support from Vahe and Armine Meghrouni, the program also hosts a quarterly lecture series that bridges historical and cultural topics surrounding modern day Armenia to the broader Orange County community. In the summer of 2014, The Meghrounis pledged $1M in support of the creation of an endowed chair in Armenian Studies. The School of Humanities is presently fundraising for the remaining amount to meet the minimum endowed chair requirement.

To learn more about the partnership between UCI and the American University of Armenia, please visit humanities.uci.edu.

If you are interested in supporting the endowed chair in Armenian Studies, please contact Marijana Lekousis, Interim Director of Development for the UC Irvine School of Humanities, at marijana@uci.edu or 949-824-1342.

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