American University of Armenia Celebrates Establishment of Southern California Office

LOS ANGELES–The American University of Armenia (AUA) celebrated the opening of its Southern California office Sunday evening, August 17. The cocktail party, attended by a number of board of trustees members, major donors and friends of AUA, also served to welcome University President Dr. Haroutune Armenian and his wife Sona to the Los Angeles area following their relocation from the Baltimore, MD area. The event also introduced AUA’s new Director of Development, Daniel Maljanian and Administrative Assistant to the President, Marianna Achemian.

AUA, an American accredited graduate university located in Yerevan, Armenia, offers degrees in engineering, health sciences, law, English, business management, and political science. It is affiliated with the University of California, with offices provided by UC in Oakland, in addition to the new Pasadena offices provided by the AGBU at 2495 E. Mountain St. The new office will enable AUA to engage more fully its Southern California constituents and raise the Armenian community’s awareness of AUA’s activities in Armenia. AUA seeks active support for its programs of higher education and the sustainable development of Armenia and the Caucasus region.

Dr. Mihran Agbabian, board of trustee member and AUA President Emeritus, opened the evening’s program by recognizing his fellow trustees Gerald Turpanjian, Sinan Sinanian and Edward Avedisian, who had traveled from Boston to be in attendance, along with Board Secretary Dr. Theony Condos. He then thanked the many AUA donors in attendance, and proceeded to introduce Dr. Armenian, who now divides his time between his Yerevan and Los Angeles area residences.

After showing a short video on the soon-to-be-completed Paramaz Avedisian Building (PAB), Dr. Armenian thanked and introduced Edward Avedisian, who commissioned and has overseen the construction of the PAB. The state of the art building, which will enable AUA to more than double its teaching capacity, will add 100,000 square feet to AUA’s existing facilities, including classrooms, seminar rooms, laboratories and research areas. Mr. Avedisian thanked the many people who had contributed to the building’s design and construction, and informed the attendees that it is not too late to consider the room naming opportunities that are still available for donations of $20,000 and above.

Dr. Armenian also announced AUA’s upcoming seminars, which will be held in Southern California, highlighting AUA’s involvement in Armenia’s rural development, improvement of public health, and legal reform. More information about these seminars will be provided in the coming months.

The program concluded with Dr. Armenian emphasizing the need for Armenia to excel in order to make a lasting contribution to the region. He emphasized that AUA, with its American accreditation and focus on academic excellence, free inquiry, scholarship, leadership and service to society, is a key participant in training the next generation of Armenia’s leaders. Dr. Ruzanna Mkhitaryan, a 1997 graduate of AUA who was in attendance, stood up at the end and expressed her gratitude for the education that she had received and the hope that AUA had instilled in her during the darkest days in Armenia’s recent history.

The American University of Armenia Corporation (AUAC) is registered as a non-profit educational organization in both Armenia and the United States and is affiliated with the Regents of the University of California. Receiving major support from the AGBU, AUA offers instruction leading to the Masters Degree in eight graduate programs. For more information about AUA, visit www.aua.am.

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