MONTEBELLO–More than $300,000 was raised for Armenian Mesrobian School at its 50th anniversary Gala at Armenian Apostolic Holy Cross Cathedral’s Bagramian Hall on Saturday, February 20, with more than 760 gathered to celebrate Mesrobian’s half-century legacy of education and service to the community, honor the present, and build toward the future.
“To see so many graduates and families of Mesrobian gathered under one roof is very heartwarming. We accomplished something very positive, much like the direction the school is headed in. Bravo to all our Gala Committee, Benefactors and Sponsors. Without their help none of this would be possible,” said Goharik Gabriel, daughter of one of the school’s founders Mgrditch Mosikian and chair of Mesrobian’s 50th Anniversary Gala Steering Committee.
Mesrobian School Principal David Ghoogasian, Class of 1982, commenced the Gala with an historic artifact: the ringing of Mesrobian Kindergarten’s first school bell, which was followed by his welcome and then opening remarks from Gabriel.
“The outpouring of love and support for the school was overwhelming. Five decades of Mesrobian faces converged that evening as a testament not only to the past, but to the vibrant, present, and promising future and ongoing legacy of the school,” said Principal Ghoogasian.
The Gala’s Mistress of Ceremonies was well-known weekday anchor of FOX 11’s Good Day LA, Araksya Karapetyan. She is the grandniece of the late George Tumanjan, who was a pillar of the Mesrobian School and Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral Community.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirosian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, began the evening with an invocation and message. Words of congratulation from His Holiness Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia were also read.
Razmik Stepanyan, recently appointed Counselor of the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles, congratulated the school on this historic occasion on behalf of the Republic of Armenia.
Student art was displayed in the foyer, depicting representations of popular Armenian works of art.
City of Montebello Councilmember Jack Hadjinian, who is a Mesrobian alumnus and the first Armenian-American mayor of the City of Montebello, presented proclamations recognizing Mesrobian school from the following representatives and civic institutions: Congressional certificates from Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; California State Legislature certificates from California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, California Assemblyman Ian Calderon, Outgoing Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins, California Senate President Kevin De Leon, and California Senator Tony Mendoza; Scroll from the Sheriff’s Department L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell; County Supervisor Hilda Solis; Montebello City Council; and a special proclamation in both English AND Armenian from Pico Rivera City Council.
The Gala program featured multiple musical performances by Mesrobian faculty and alumni.
Siranoush Sandaldjian-Modrek, concert pianist and Mesrobian First Grade teacher, joined in a duo piano performance with alumnus Greg Hosharian, who is Mesrobian’s instrumental music teacher and a musician, composer, conductor, pianist, and orchestrator.
Renowned artist and lead singer of Capital Cities Sebu Simonian performed two of his hit singles, One Minute More and Safe and Sound. A proud member of the Mesrobian family, Simonian attended Mesrobian School when his family lived in the San Gabriel Valley.
The evening honored select organizations and individuals who have had a major role in the development of the school.
“Mesrobian School stands upon the shoulders of giants,” said Mesrobian School Principal Ghoogasian, “The dedication and sacrifices of countless individuals and organizations form the legacy upon which the school builds its bright future.”
Receiving the “Mesrobian Legacy Awards” were Mesrobian’s first principal, Torkom Postajian, whose leadership guided Mesrobian and set it on track to amassing the legacy it has today; and the Armenian Educational Foundation which made foundational contributions to the school in its formative years.
Receiving the “Mesrobian Dedication Award” was Goharik Gabriel, who carries her father’s vision to the present, not only through her dedication to the Ron and Goharik Gabriel Pre-School, but also by inspiring countless others to action for Mesrobian’s Golden Anniversary.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dro Gomideh received the “Mesrobian Commitment Award” for their vigilant readiness to serve the school and community.
30 year Mesrobian teacher Nairy Ghoogasian, Class of 1982, received the evening’s “Mesrobian Impact Award” for her role in inspiring and educating generations of Mesrobian students.
Sona Movsesian, Class of 2000, from Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco, received the “Mesrobian Spirit Award” for her role in bringing Conan O’Brien (and his millions of viewers) to Armenia, in turn educating countless people about the Armenian people’s rich heritage and culture.
Receiving the “Alumni Achievement Award” was Dr. Katherine Fundukian Thorossian, who is the Superintendent of the Monrovia Unified School District and graduated from Armenian Mesrobian School in 1980.
Principal Ghoogasian explained that the Gala marks the beginning of a tradition, which will recognize individuals and organizations annually for their roles in the life of Mesrobian School.
The evening’s benefactors and sponsors included: Gold Sponsors Ron and Goharik Gabriel who contributed $50,000; Haig and Hilda Manjikian generously contributed $30,000; Ralph and Savvy Tufenkian, an original and active member of Mesrobian’s Parent Faculty Club and a beloved member of the community of donated $20,000. The Tufenkian family’s donations loving memory of their son, Richard, who was a Mesrobian student
The school also expresses its gratitude to its $10,000 benefactors: ARF Dro Gomideh; Haig and Argine Kelegian; Minasian and Chalian Families in memory of Kirakos Magdesian and Ashot Ter-Minasian; Mosikian Families in memory of Mgrdich Mosikian; the Sarkisian Family (NASA Services, Inc.); Missak Mickey Parseghian; and Joe & Nvair Samuelian.
Armenian Mesrobian School, established in 1965, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has High School (12th Grade) through Nursery School (2 years old) on the same campus. Mesrobian’s environment offers a unique opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to grow together. The High School curriculum is certified to the University of California. Mesrobian’s ‘Alumni Network and Mentorship Program’ connects students with five decades of alumni who have distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as education, science, business, media and advertising, medicine, music, law, dentistry, chiropractic, public service, politics, engineering, veterinary medicine, psychology, and others.